This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.
The Golden State Warriors traded swingman Stephen Jackson to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday for small forward Richard Jefferson, the rights to T.J. Ford (who announced his retirement earlier this week ), and a conditional first-round draft pick this year.
San Antonio’s pick is lottery protected, but the Spurs are in second place in the Western Conference so that will probably not be an issue.
Jackson has averaged 10.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 26 games this season.
Jefferson on the other hand, has averaged 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 41 games with the Spurs this season. He could be in Bay Area in time for Friday night’s game against the Bucks, which will mark Ellis’ much-hyped, quick return to Oracle Arena.
In all fairness to Jefferson, he remained a professional even after he knew the Spurs wanted to amnesty him, and if not for his bloated contract, there would have been no reason to move him.
Getting Jackson is not necessarily and upgrade, he is shooting a measly 28 percent from beyond the arc this season. But the Spurs, in effect, subtract a year of his salary by switching him for Jackson. Amnesty wouldn’t have been this financially effective.
However, playing for a veteran club that needs some scoring punch and a coach that can handle his mood swings; something tells me that he’s about to be on the upswing.
Jackson is an underrated player because of his bad reputation, and coming off the bench behind rookie Kawhi Leonard might be a problem, but Gregg Popovich knows Jackson to well, and being back with Tim Duncan should mean more now.
After all, when Jackson lectured the Bucks this season on how he had “probably done more than a lot of people in this locker room in this league, including coaches,” he was talking about the ring he won with Duncan.
Coming back to San Antonio should give Jackson a breath of fresh air, he gets a chance to return, to be with Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili again, and to play with a contender.
If Jackson can play to his potential with the Spurs, the front office should be applauded for another job well done.
Nevertheless it feels like San Antonio still need a player or two to seriously compete for a title this season.
What do you guys think? Share your thoughts on this matter.