After mostly being used off the bench in his first few seasons in the NBA, former first-round draft pick Reggie Bullock became a key contributor for the Detroit Pistons in the 2017-18 NBA season, thanks to his reliable three-point shooting. While Detroit sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers in early February in exchange for seldom-used rookie guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a future second-round draft pick, the latest rumors suggest that the Pistons are interested in bringing him back to the team this summer and signing him as a free agent.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday morning, Detroit Free Press reporter Vince Ellis noted that he had spoken to Bullock a few days prior and that the wingman seemed “interested in a return engagement” with the Pistons. Ellis added that the Pistons also appear to be open to the idea of signing Bullock during the 2019 free agency period, though he added that it will depend on what other teams may offer the 28-year-old forward/guard.
“Played poorly for Lakers so price may go down.
#Pistons just have [mid-level exception] and part of it likely goes to [a point guard],” Ellis continued.
Since getting traded to the Lakers ahead of last month’s trade deadline, Reggie Bullock has seen his basic stats drop substantially despite how he hasn’t seen much of a decline in playing time. According to his Basketball-Reference player page, Bullock has averaged 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 27.9 minutes per game in 15 games for the Lakers, as opposed to his time in Detroit, where he averaged 12.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30.8 minutes in 44 games.
Reggie Bullock says he thinks every shot he takes is going in, and that the rest of the Lakers are telling him to keep shooting because the team needs him. https://t.co/QjBXDwK6Hx pic.twitter.com/uJtTKpVX6F— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) March 18, 2019
Bullock’s shooting stroke — his greatest asset since joining the NBA — has also suffered following his move to Los Angeles. As a Laker, the 6-foot-6-inch wingman is shooting just 39.8 percent from the field and 29.9 percent from three-point range, both of which are down from his respective 41.3 percent and 38.8 percent clips as a Piston.
Although the Lakers (31-39) have often been rumored to be making big plans for the 2019 offseason, as documented by publications such as Lakers Nation, the team is almost guaranteed to miss the playoffs for a sixth straight year due to a rough second half that has seen them drop down to 11th place in the Western Conference. If Bullock returns to the Pistons (36-34), he will be rejoining a team that, barring any unexpected slumps, is expected to enter postseason play for the first time since 2016 behind the strong play of big men Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin.