There has been concern in Oklahoma City for a while that they would lose Reggie Jackson next summer as a restricted free agent — he he has said repeatedly that he wants to start (something he does not do in OKC), he wants to run the offense for a team, and he’s likely to have other teams offering starter-level money to him. Yet Jackson played a key role as the Thunder’s sixth man this season (and he played big minutes when Russell Westbrook was out).
Then Oklahoma City went out and traded for Dion Waiters. In the Thunder’s last game Waiters entered the game before Jackson, plus played more minutes including the entire fourth quarter (with the other starters) while Jackson was benched. Thunder brass hope Waiters can be the sixth man they need.
So if the Thunder are going to lose Jackson this summer and have found a guy to take over his role, will they trade Jackson before the deadline? There are all kinds of rumors to that effect going around Oklahoma City.
Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman asked Jackson how he is handling the trade rumors and having a guy brought in to replace him (hat tip Eye on Basketball).
“Probably better than you are. Y’all are bringing it up,” Jackson told reporters. “I can’t control it. I just go play whenever I’m put on the court. That’s about all I can do, all the control I have. Just go from there. I’m happy (Waiters) did well. I’m happy he made a big shot. I’m just happy we got a win.”
Don’t be shocked if a trade goes down, although there is nothing imminent right now.
It will be interesting to see what kind of offers come Jackson’s way this summer. In the 13 games Jackson started this season for OKC, when Westbrook and Kevin Durant were largely out, he scored 20.2 points a game but shot just 41.6 percent and hit 27 percent from three, plus he had more than seven assists a game. He was not very efficient and his defense has never been strong, either starting or coming off the bench. OKC didn’t go out and get Waiters because they were thrilled with Jackson’s play and felt they would lose him, they felt they needed an upgrade. That said a lot of teams did like the potential of Jackson as a starter and with reason.