As the NBA preseason gets going, the Oklahoma City Thunder may be taking a closer look at their point guard spot. For the moment, Russell Westbrook will be missing the first four to six weeks due to his recovering from another knee surgery. Back in the 2012-2013 NBA Playoffs, Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus thus needing a surgical repair.
Backup Reggie Jackson will assume the starting role for now as he did for the remainder of the Thunder’s postseason run. The third year pro out of Boston College has not gotten much run in his first two seasons in the league, but he’ll be thrown into the fire shortly.
In his rookie season, Jackson averaged just 11 minutes per game and his stat line wasn’t anything too special. Averaging 3.1 points on 32 percent shooting and 1.6 assists per game, Jackson was virtually non-existent. But, in his second year he got close to the same amount of minutes and made the most of them.
Last season, Jackson put up 5.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting almost 46 percent from the field in about 14 minutes per game. In just another couple minutes per game, Jackson improved greatly. In the postseason, once Westbrook went down, Jackson 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting close to 48 percent from the field.
The Thunder would love to get even just a small amount of improvement from those numbers in the early going this season. Jackson is in a year where he’ll have a team option on his contract next summer — a huge summer in free agency — and Oklahoma City will need to get a grasp on whether or not they want to retain him or go in another direction.
Jackson has a huge opportunity in front of him. It may even propel him to a bigger career elsewhere once Oklahoma City figures out they can’t afford to keep him — assuming he plays up to it.