In the early AM, Marc Stein adds credence to the rumors swirling about Captain Jack possibly hitching up with Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Clippers are strongly considering the signing of former San Antonio Spurs swingman Stephen Jackson to fill their growing need on the wing, according to sources familiar with the team’s thinking.
Sources told ESPN.com that Jackson, who has been searching for a new team since his sudden release by the Spurs shortly before last season’s playoffs in April, has emerged as a prime candidate for the Clippers to sign as early as this week after a series of injuries have decimated L.A.’s depth.
Injuries suffered by starting guard J.J. Redick, top reserve Matt Barnes and rookie forward Reggie Bullock prompted Clippers coach Doc Rivers to announce after Saturday’s loss in Cleveland that the Clippers essentially “have to look somewhere” for reinforcements.
It’s not immediately clear how the addition of another wing, be it Jackson or another, would affect the Clippers’ interest in Lamar Odom or another big man, for that matter.
10-day contracts cannot be signed until January 6, but with the escalating rash of injuries to the Clippers’ perimeter players, the front office may not have a choice in the matter.
Stephen Jackson averaged 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season in 55 games with the San Antonio Spurs. While he is a career 33.4 percent three-point shooter, last season Stephen Jackson was 48.1 percent on two-point shots and 27.1 percent on three-point shots.
Jackson was unexpectedly waived six days before the 2013 playoffs. While the Spurs did not disclose what the dispute was, Jackson had his own feelings on the matter.
“[Popovich] wanted me to agree to players being better than me, and I didn’t agree. I’ve been in the NBA a long time, so it’s just something I didn’t agree with and something I have no control over. He’s the coach. He controls who plays, and he controls the team, which I do respect. At the same time, I know what I can do and what I been doing my whole career, and I’m far from ready to hang it up. So, I can’t let one person tell me where I’m at 35-years-old. To me, it just didn’t make no sense.”
If we’re playing armchair GM here, really the trick would be to sign Jackson to a non-guaranteed contract, then utilize Jackson as a backup wing until Redick, Barnes and Bullock return healthy — giving an ailing Jared Dudley some much needed rest for his knee as well — while seeking out any other maneuvers to free up additional roster spots for any backup bigs the team has their eye on besides Odom .
That’s a lot of dominoes to fall, but for now the Clippers need to resolve their wing issue.