The Oklahoma City Thunder could be set to trade away talented young point guard Reggie Jackson, in a situation which is eerily similar to that of former Thunder star James Harden.
Jackson is developing into an excellent player and showed flashes of how good he can be during the 2014 postseason, where the Thunder ultimately fell short again. But it seems like his days in Oklahoma may be over before they have really begun.
According to reports, the Thunder won’t be extending Jackson before Friday’s deadline and he will become a restricted free agent in the offseason.
“Part of the issue for the Thunder is that Jackson is a point guard and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to overpay him when Westbrook is already under a multi-year contract,” Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders said earlier today.
“This is the same problem that forced the Los Angeles Clippers to trade Eric Bledsoe last year for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley.” That ultimately means they could opt to trade him for a cheaper option.
“Jackson is unlikely to require the same sort of contract that Bledsoe eventually got as a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Thunder, as a small-market team, are especially concerned about maintaining financial flexibility,” Blancarte explains.
“But after sending Harden to Houston in 2012, and subsequently failing to win a championship, the Thunder are at risk of sending away another impact player, and raising questions of whether they care more about their bottom line than winning a championship.”
If the Thunder are going to make it through the early chunk of the season with a winning record, without MVP Kevin Durant leading the scoring every night, the 24-year old guard Reggie Jackson is going to be a big reason why.
Dealing another player like Jackson could upset the fans and his teammates and with Durant able to become a free agent in 2016, that isn’t something they want to do.