San Antonio Spurs Trade: 4 Reasons to Welcome Stephen Jackson with Open Arms
After sending Richard Jefferson and a future first-round pick to Golden State, Jackson ended up heading back to San Antonio.
He was sent to Golden State in the Ellis deal, and the Warriors spent little time before looking for potential suitors for Jackson.
The Spurs showed interest, and soon, the deal was complete—one which strengthens the Spurs and gives them the potential to make a strong postseason run.
San Antonio Is the Perfect Fit
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Stephen Jackson is an absolute headcase. There's no denying it. Remember his involvement in the Palace brawl? Since then, his talent has been offset by his immaturity, and he hasn't been able to find himself a stable home.
However, if there were one team with which Jackson could possibly clean up his act, it would be the Spurs.
In San Antonio, you just don't act like a baby. Not with the veterans keeping everyone's head in the game, and not with a coach like Pop. Rarely has an incident been reported about a Spurs player running into trouble, and don't expect that to change after the arrival of Jackson.
San Antonio could take Andray Blatche and make him look like a saint, so there is no reason to believe Jackson will be an issue. Pop just would not have it.
Not to mention the fact that this whole system is not new to Jackson. "Captain Jack" spent a few of his early years in San Antonio under the same coach, playing with the same core.
With that team, Jackson received his first and only ring. He was a valuable member of the team during the playoffs, ranking third on the team in scoring.
Hopefully, this journey back in time will revive Jackson, and he can use his talent to help them win another title.
Back-Up to Ginobili
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Manu Ginobili is not having a good season. In terms of scoring, he's having his third-worst campaign, and the veteran guard has found himself sidelined with injury three times thus far.
First, he left for about a month after an early contest against Minnesota, and in a game against the Clippers, Ginobili found himself down again with an injury that kept him inactive for about two weeks. Recently, he was pulled from the game against Washington and was given limited minutes (22) in San Antonio's win over Orlando.
If this is any preview of what's in store come playoff time, the Spurs could be in big trouble. Ginobili is a key member of the team, and without him, they simply have no chance at a ring.
The front office used the deadline and Golden State's offer as a way to take precaution in case Ginobili were to miss any more time. In Jackson, they have a decent scoring guard who has no problem being handed a large role. He would be the perfect substitute in the event anything were to happen.
With reserves Gary Neal and Danny Green at Popovich's disposal, an injury to the star would not be quite as detrimental to their success as it was last year.
Size and Defense
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Every bit of height that the Spurs can get at the 2 and 3 is extremely helpful, considering their undersized front court. With a 6'7'' DeJuan Blair commanding the paint, any additional size comes in handy.
Stephen Jackson stands fairly tall for the shooting-guard position at 6'8''. He is strong, athletic and aggressive. Any problems with defense or rebounding will slightly subside with Jackson's arrival. He can also shoot the three, drive to the hole and even handle the point if needed.
He can play alongside Parker and Ginobili at the 3, too, with his size and defensive ability making it no problem to guard other small forwards.
This addition also gives them the option to look into making a trade during the offseason for a possible high pick. Last year, George Hill was sent to Indiana in return for the pick that would become Kawhi Leonard.
Maybe they could use Danny Green to get themselves another pick now that they have Jackson to take his place.
Always Trust the Spurs' FO
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Clearly, somebody wanted him, or he wouldn't have ended up here. Whether it was Popovich, Duncan, Parker or somebody else, this was not out of the blue.
He has a place on the Spurs just like he did back in '03 when they won the title. He can shoot, score and defend, and if they can keep him under control, this will be an outstanding transaction.
Then again, when have the Spurs ever made a bad one? If there is one front office and general manager in this league that I would put my full trust in, it is the Spurs and R.C. Buford. They have rarely made a trade that worked out poorly.
Even the most recent Hill for Leonard swap drew criticism, but Leonard has given critics many reasons to rethink their opinion since he arrived in San Antonio.
They build in the draft as well, receiving loads of talent despite late picks.
If this is a move they saw fit, then I'll support it, too.
And so should all of the Spurs fans. Maybe he left his "thug life" behind, or maybe not. Either way, he has talent and could be the missing piece to winning the franchise's fifth title.