The way that Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Jackson’s season ended should almost be illegal. In most cases, serious players such as Jackson usually only take a backseat in the rotation when there’s a championship title on the horizon. Yet the Clippers didn’t get close to achieving that milestone after coughing up a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals in an embarrassing fashion.
That left Jackson the victim of a double-edged sword, after not seeing much playing time during his stint with the Clippers. He went from averaging 27.2 minutes with the Detroit Pistons in that same year to 21.3 minutes with LA. The Clippers were also somewhat stacked at the guard position with Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet, making Jackson more times than not the odd man out.
The bottom line is that Jackson is still a slashing point guard that can put up 20-point performances while dishing out a reasonable number of assists on any given night. His shooting along with a ridiculous amount of athleticism also adds another dimension to his game that makes him a favorable target for teams. While it’s unlikely that the Clippers will bring Jackson back next season, he’ll undoubtedly draw attention from multiple suitors. His time as a starting point guard in the league may be over, but the need for legitimate bench pieces will be high in demand from multiple teams.
Here are a few teams that’ll pounce at the opportunity to land Jackson in free agency.
3. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors will be active this offseason as they look to rebuild a roster that’s fallen short of talent outside of it’s usual faces along with newcomer Andrew Wiggins. While they’re clearly shored up at the starting position with Stephen Curry, the bench could definitely use a sprucing up at the guard position amongst other spots.
Reggie Jackson could easily step into a role that hasn’t had a go-to scorer of the bench in recent years, even in 2019 when the Warriors appeared in the NBA finals. As far as 3-point shooting is concerned, he finished the 2019-20 season connecting on 39 percent of his shots from deep, which fits into head coach Steve Kerr’s offensive scheme. He’ll also presumably come with a low asking price, seeing that his current contract with the Clippers is a one-year, minimum deal.
This would leave extra cap space for the Warriors to pursue other targets such as a pivotal big man that can fit into their starting five.
2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics have had a difficult time finding talent to come off the bench for a reasonable price, leaving them oftentimes to stick with their usual options they currently have. At the moment, they have Brad Wanamaker, who’s been fair in his output off the bench to say the least. However, as the Celtics progressed through the playoffs, it became evident that they lacked the necessary talent to sustain leads upon their starters sitting.
Jackson addresses a scoring need off the bench while also giving the Celtics a huge increase in pacing up the floor and on fast breaks. His defensive efforts could also match that of Marcus Smart’s when both come in for the reserves unit. The Celtics ranked second-to-last in points averaged for the 2019-20 season, suggesting that it’s time for the front office to pull out all the stops this offseason to buff up the bench.
With little financial flexibility available as they march into the offseason, Jackson could come at a bargained price for Beantown. The former Boston College guard could also return to a city he called home for three seasons during his college career.
1. Washington Wizards
The Wizards will apparently have John Wall back in action this season, returning a much-needed backcourt partner for Bradley Beal. With a sizable question mark still hanging over Wall’s health and his ability to remain on the court for the entirety of the season, the Wizards could look to add some depth to the point guard position.
With the Wizards likely looking to reshape their roster ahead of next season, Reggie Jackson could be a high contender at the point guard spot for a fair price. In the event of Wall missing some time again this year, Jackson’s also capable of stepping up as a decent fill-in alongside Beal if necessary. Washington has often experimented with bringing in point guards to fill the void of an injured Wall, with Ish Smith and Isaiah Thomas being two of the main guards.
Smith is currently still on the Wizards’ roster, as he doesn’t become a free agent until the 2021 offseason. Even so, having both Jackson and Smith in the backcourt coming off the bench would help the Wizards keep leads or even fight to get back in a game of which they lost control.