Spurs waive Stephen Jackson. Knicks waive Kurt Thomas.— Art Garcia (@ArtGarcia92) April 12, 2013
Jackson had been battling a lingering ankle injury and missed Wednesday night's loss to the Denver Nuggets, but has been an integral part of San Antonio's rotation this season. The 35-year-old averaged 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game for the Spurs.
Jackson will be free to sign with another team for the remainder of the regular season if he chooses, and those teams have until 5 p.m. ET on Sunday to put in a waiver claim for his services.
With so few games remaining in the season, though, it’s highly unlikely Jackson will see an NBA court again in the 2012-13 season. As ESPN's Marc Stein points out, the eligibility period for waived players to be able to play in the postseason for their new team is March 1:
Because StepHen Jackson waived by Spurs after March 1, he's ineligible to play in the playoffs for another team— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 12, 2013
As such, it's probably more salient to focus on the strange timing of this move. The Spurs head into their matchup on Friday with the Sacramento Kings a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for first place in the Western Conference. Though Jackson was not at his height of effectiveness in his 13th NBA season—he has been shooting under 40 percent most of the year—his minutes will now have to be allocated elsewhere.
What's more, the Spurs had already paid Jackson most of his $10.06 million salary for this season.
There is no word on exactly why Jackson was waived, but the move has been "brewing for a few days," per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.