Oklahoma City Thunder Should Consider Using Reggie Jackson as Trade Bait
Reggie Jackson proved to be valuable for the Oklahoma City Thunder, particularly in the postseason after Russell Westbrook went down with his knee injury. Though Jackson was thrown into the fire and was obviously not ready when the opportunity arose, he still averaged 13.9 points, 3.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
During the regular season, Jackson served as the backup to Westbrook and was one of the more consistent backups in the NBA. In 70 appearances last season he averaged 5.3 points, 1.7 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 0.4 steals in just 14.2 minutes per game while shooting a solid 45.8 percent from the floor.
Considering that Jackson was only in his second year in the league and playing behind one of the league’s best point guards, he definitely left people singing his praises. He continued to do so at the Orlando Summer League this year when, in the two games that he played, he averaged 19.5 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and one steal in just 23.5 minutes per game.
Jackson is a player who, for now, is somewhere in that gray area where he’s probably overqualified to be a backup point guard, especially getting the limited minutes that he did last season, but he’s probably also not ready to be the starting point guard for a contending team. In that regard, he’s in a very similar situation to the one Eric Bledsoe was in with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Just as the Clippers did this summer with Bledsoe, the Thunder need to consider trotting Jackson out as trade bait and seeing what they could get in return. OKC is a talented team, but they aren’t without faults. Their frontcourt could stand to be deeper and it’s up in the air how Jeremy Lamb will perform as the team’s sixth man, both of which are areas that the Thunder could look to address in a potential trade.
Jackson has a bright future in this league. He’s incredibly athletic and has a knack when it comes to attacking the rim and leading a team in transition. He still has growing left to do in regards to his game, but he has plenty of time to get there. With the Thunder as they are right now, though, they don’t really have a dire need for Jackson’s services. If they are smart, they will, at the very least, float Jackson out as trade bait to see what they can get in return.
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