UPDATE: 5:15pm ET, Monday, December 9th
It appears as if Stephen Jackson will sign with the LA Clippers after a very brief courtship, per ESPN's Chris Broussard:
- END OF UPDATE -
Desperate times call for measures worthy of signing Stephen Jackson.
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.
It's unclear how Jackson's arrival would impact the team's pursuit of a recuperating Lamar Odom, though the Clippers don't have the luxury of patience in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Los Angeles was just recently overcome by injuries on the perimeter. J.J. Redick is expected to miss six to eight weeks after suffering a small fracture in his right hand, Matt Barnes is still sidelined following surgery on his left retina and rookie Reggie Bullock is recovering from a sprained left ankle. Their injuries have left the Clippers frantically seeking reinforcements.
"If you guys have any names, call me and let me know," head coach Doc Rivers told reporters, via Stein and Shelburne. "I’ll be on the phone tonight with [Clippers executives] Gary [Sacks] and Gerald [Madkins] and Dave Wohl and I’m praying they know somebody. We’ll see. You never know."
Jackson spent most of last season with the San Antonio Spurs before he was abruptly released in April. He left averaging 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.5 minutes of action per game.
San Antonio has waived Stephen Jackson, league source tells Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 12, 2013
Following his exodus, Jackson spoke ill of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, accusing him of unjustly singling out the veteran shooting guard. He maintained his release stemmed from a refusal to play Coach Pop's "mind games," per the San Antonio Express-News' Buck Harvey. Jackson also indicated that after 13 seasons in the NBA, he just wanted to have "fun."
Should the Clippers sign Stephen Jackson?
For the Clippers' sake, hopefully he doesn't want to have too much fun. Recreational nights on the town can become documented disasters for Jackson, who is known for having a short fuse and brash personality. Just ask Steve Francis.
As a defensively inclined veteran, though, he fits the mold for a Rivers-led outfit. Offense will come easy to the Clippers, who rank fourth in efficiency, even without Redick. Staunch defensive sets haven't been as prevalent. The Clippers now rank in the top half of defensive efficiency, but Barnes' absence could put them at a disadvantage.
Enter the 35-year-old Jackson, who has been working out on his own in Texas, with the hopes of "hooking up with another contender," per Stein and Shelburne.
The Clippers certainly fit that bill, and they have a clear need for his services, which makes a signing feel inevitable.