After failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the Halloween deadline, Reggie Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Jackson has asked his agent to inform the Thunder he isn’t keen on returning in the offseason, even if they match another team’s qualifying offer.
Sources revealed to Yahoo that the Thunder have been taking stock of the trade market for Reggie over the last week, but will not be strong-armed into parting with the fourth-year guard for an unattractive offer.
CAA’s Aaron Mintz made the request in the past seven to 10 days, and several teams around the league became aware as officials probed for information on potentially dealing for Jackson, league sources said.
Jackson, 24, has made it clear to the Thunder that he would be resistant to returning to the franchise should it keep him for the rest of the season and then decide to match an offer sheet in restricted free agency this summer.
Presti has made no commitment to moving Jackson, but has been willing to gauge the market and listen to pitches on potential deals as always, sources said.
When reached on Wednesday, neither Mintz nor Presti would comment.
We all should have seen this coming when Reggie made it clear he was handling trade rumors better than us (the media). We know Jackson wants to be the starting point guard and there’s no way that’s happening in Oklahoma City.
The mid-season addition of Dion Waiters from the Cavs shrinks Jackson’s piece of the offensive pie even more, and it’s clear he thinks he’s ready for a starting nod. Jackson’s situation made us think of Eric Bledsoe when the former Kentucky guard was backing up Chris Paul with the Clippers; he’s good enough to start, but stuck behind one of the game’s best.
Jackson did get a chance to helm the Thunder’s simplistic offense when Russ and KD were out to start the year, but during that time the Thunder buried themselves in the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture by going 4-12 before Westbrook returned. Then there was the time, in those early games, when Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins froze Reggie out in the second half of a game because he was looking too much for his own shot.
In November, Reggie shot just 41.5 percent from the field and only 26.6 percent on three-pointers (in January he was at 46.1 and 38.7). With the full glare of an opponent’s defense keyed to stop him, Jackson wilted more than some might have expected after his starring turn against the Grizzlies in last year’s playoffs.
Reggie also struggles defensively. Among all point guards, he’s ranked No. 48 in defensive real plus-minus (DRPM), per ESPN. The Thunder also give up more points per possession when he’s on the court, and that’s including his time back on the bench when Westbrook returned.
Presti did call him a “core member” of the Thunder during the preseason when some thought OKC’s unwillingness to give him a lucrative extension was a sign the Thunder would face a James Harden repeat. James himself said Reggie should make his market value, but Jackson’s ho-um play so far this season might mean a lot less as a restricted free agent this summer, and a lot less return if the Thunder do decide to trade him before tomorrow’s deadline.