San Antonio Spurs Reportedly Waive Stephen Jackson

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2013

Apr 3, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Stephen Jackson (3) brings the ball up court against during the first half against the Orlando Magic at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Though they are entrenched in a battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top seed in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs made a roster move that could shock many on Friday.

According to Art Garcia of FOX Sports Southwest, the Spurs have announced the release of veteran forward Stephen Jackson:

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: 

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.