When the Thunder engaged in a three-team trade with the Knicks and the Cavaliers that netted them Dion Waiters, the rumors began to swirl that Reggie Jackson was on his way out.
Jackson has not only expressed a desire to have a starter’s role in the league, but stands to command a high dollar amount as a restricted free agent this summer. And just as the Thunder did with James Harden and Jeff Green before, it’s unclear if they’re willing to pay what it will cost to keep a reserve player of Jackson’s caliber around.
With Waiters acting as Jackson insurance to a certain extent, the team wants him to feel as welcome as possible. That may be one reason why Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook requested that Waiters’ locker was moved closer to theirs — and away from Jackson’s.
From Royce Young of ESPN.com:
Dion Waiters’ locker has been moved, per the request of Durant and Westbrook. They wanted him closer to them to help him get integrated.
Waiters’ locker previously was on the opposite side of the locker room, next to Reggie Jackson. (Lance Thomas’ old spot.)
That last quote was from Durant, discussing the situation.
This doesn’t mean anything, really, other than Durant wanting to help a young new teammate who previously struggled to build locker room relationships. But the writing may be on the wall where Jackson is concerned, when the team’s stars embrace the new guy more than they may have done with someone already in place in Jackson who may, one way or another, be on his way out.