Is it possible that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson is in line for a big payday?
According to a recent report by Yahoo! Sports, the future restricted free agent might command top dollar. The site reported that NBA team executives are enamored with Jackson, and an offer sheet might be in the range of $13 million to $14 million per year.
A contract of that amount would put him around the same yearly average that fellow guards John Wall, James Harden, and Eric Bledsoe are making this season. However, is Reggie Jackson worth that kind of money?
Serving primarily as a sixth-man in the Oklahoma City rotation, Jackson averaged 13.1 points and 4.1 assists for the team last season.
With the recent injures to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the Thunder have turned to Jackson as their primary ball-handler and scorer, and he hasn’t disappointed.
Despite missing the team’s first few games due to injury, Jackson has been sensational. In his seven games played he’s averaged 22.4 points and 8.1 assists in seven games played. The numbers have proven that Jackson might indeed be a starting caliber point guard in the NBA.
When the Thunder offered Jackson a contract extension in October, the guard turned it down, mostly due to his goal of being an NBA starter, a feat which is not likely on Oklahoma City with Westbrook running the show.
I am convinced Jackson wants to show his best stuff to potential teams, especially in a contract year, but he knows what his role is on the team.
“I am still with the Thunder,” he told Yahoo, “and there are no selfish thoughts when I’m on the floor. I am going to help this team win.”
The situation the Thunder have with Jackson is very similar to the dilemma faced with James Harden, who like Jackson, sacrificed stats for the greater good of the team. When Harden was traded to Houston he was able to reach his true potential.
One Eastern Conference scout spoke about Jackson to Yahoo Sports, stating, “He’s a bigger Eric Bledsoe – and probably better.” So, assuming the ceiling Jackson might have would Oklahoma City be wise to give Jackson a big contract based on potential?
Signing an offer-sheet would be a bold move for the Thunder as they will also look to re-sign Kevin Durant to a max level contract in the next two years. With Westbrook and Serge Ibaka already taking up salary cap space, can the team afford to sign Jackson and then go after the ultimate prize in Durant?
Some would point to the upcoming rise in the NBA salary cap as a possible solution to the Thunder’s dilemma, but will signing him make the team better?
With the emergence of players like Anthony Morrow and Perry Jones, would a $13-$14 million annual salary be too much for a bench player, even one with Jackson’s potential?
Well, that’s something Oklahoma City will have to figure out.
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