Rob Parker: Pistons trade for now, hopefully future


DETROIT – In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday.

Pistons making moves

The Pistons made a statement at the NBA trade deadline.

First, they are trying to make the playoffs, not tank the season in hunt of a lottery pick. They are only a few games out of the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.

Secondly, they have the future of the franchise in mind, too.

On Thursday, the Pistons got point guard Reggie Jackson from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

With the Thunder, Jackson was a super sixth man off the bench. But at just 24, many believe Jackson has a chance to be a star starting guard. He's averaging 12.8 points and 4.2 assists off the bench.

The Pistons, no doubt, loved his numbers as a starter in 13 games this season. He averaged 20.2 and 7.8 assists.

The Pistons sent Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin to OKC for Jackson.

"Reggie is a young player with good size and length at the guard position," said Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons coach and president of basketball operations. "He's been successful as a starter playing extended minutes and we feel he's a good addition to our roster."

The reason a player of his caliber is available is because Jackson, who was the 24th overall pick in 2011 out of Boston College, wants to get paid. He's a restricted free agent after the season.

Hence, the Pistons are taking a chance if they can't get him signed to a deal or match another team offer. Reportedly, the Thunder offered Jackson a four-year, $48 million deal, which he turned down. Jackson is expected to ask for a close-to-maximum contract.

It will be an interesting offseason. Brandon Jennings, who was the Pistons' starting point guard before having season-ending surgery on his left Achilles tendon, has just one season left on his contract.

In another deadline deal, the Pistons also picked up former Piston Tayshaun Prince from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko.

A-Rod Returns

We get it. Many don't like the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

But the Steroid Era is not just A-Rod's cross to bear, it's the game's as a whole.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez delivered a hand-written letter to fans saying he is sorry for his mistakes - using performance enhancing drugs - that led to a 2014 season ban from the game.

No one is saying A-Rod doesn't deserve grief and blame for the PED mess that derailed his once-stellar career. He definitely does.

But A-Rod doesn't carry any bigger burden because he was a big star. Either you used PEDs or you didn't.

That's all that matters. No one is more guilty than the next guy. Or less guilty than the next guy, for that matter.

If you steal $5 from your mother's purse or $5 million from a bank, you're still a thief.

Sadly, in the aftermath of this scandal, some are being treated more harshly than others. It reeks of favoritism and unfair treatment.

Here's proof.

Just in case you weren't paying attention, this is what Rodriguez, who returns to Yankees' spring training next week, might have missed the last year or so in wake of this scandal.

Ryan Braun - who was suspended for 65 games for his PED use - was greeted with a standing ovation on Opening Day 2014 by Brewers' fans in Milwaukee.

"It was special," Braun said then. "It was an emotional moment for me."

No one asked Braun to take a humiliating tour asking for forgiveness. An apology was enough.

Nelson Cruz - who served a 50-game suspension with the Texas Rangers - came back in time for the tie-breaking game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Cruz was greeted by a standing ovation. And there weren't boos, but a rousing "Cruz" chant.

Cruz wasn't asked to get on his knees or beg for forgiveness.

This past offseason, Cruz - who had a great 2014 season with Baltimore - was rewarded with a new four-year, $57-million deal with the Seattle Mariners.

Jhonny Peralta was suspended 50 games for PED use, too. He came back at the end of the 2013 season and played well for the Tigers in the postseason. Fans in Motown simply turned the page and moved on.

And while the Tigers didn't re-sign Peralta, the St. Louis Cardinals overlooked his transgression and awarded the shortstop a four-year, $52-million pact.

Apparently, many have gotten over it. A-Rod haters have to as well.