Best Potential Trade Destinations for D-League Sensation Pierre Jackson
Pierre Jackson, a second-round pick of the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2013 NBA draft, has been absolutely lighting it up for the Idaho Stampede of the D-League. Through 17 games, he's averaging 30.1 points, 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals on 45.7 percent shooting and 38.1 percent from downtown.
“I’ve been through a lot of obstacles in my playing career,” Jackson said during halftime of one of his games. “I achieved a lot but I’m still willing to do more.” (H/T Realgm.com)
That wait might be over shortly, as Yahoo! Sports Marc Spears has reported via Twitter that the "Pelicans granted permission to reps of the D-League's leading scorer Pierre Jackson to find a trade."
Based on his monster senior year at Baylor, where he averaged 19.8 points and 7.1 assists, and now this eruption in the D-League, it seems safe to assume that a few teams might come calling.
Here are six teams who should at least pick up the phone and see what Jackson would cost.
There's just nothing scary about the Washington Wizards bench, particularly their guards.
Eric Maynor and Garrett Temple? Yikes. They average 4.1 points and three assists—combined. With John Wall playing over 37 minutes a game and ranked No. 8 in the league in usage rate, and Bradley Beal's durability becoming an issue, the Wizards could use some type of relief or jolt off the bench.
Cue Pierre Jackson, who specializes in playmaking and offensive firepower.
He can also provide long-range shooting, something Wall doesn't necessarily offer at the point. That means transition threes, pull-ups over screens and the occasional spot-up jumper.
Jackson has hit 56 threes in just 17 games at a 38-percent clip for the Idaho Stampede.
This is a lineup that could really use some more weapons off the bench, especially down the stretch when the Wizards will be looking to hold onto playoff position. There's no guarantee how much damage Jackson will ultimately be able to do, but given Washington's depth issue in the backcourt, he's worth a shot.
So I guess this is actually happening? The Phoenix Suns are winning games out West, and while Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic have looked awfully sharp, they're going to need some support down the stretch.
The highest scoring guard off Phoenix's bench is Ish Smith with a whopping 3.3 points a game. That's just not much support.
Consider Pierre Jackson like a mid-game 5-hour energy, only it's more like five minutes. Jackson is the type of firecracker guard who can help Phoenix sustain the bounce in its step when Dragic and Bledsoe take a break.
The Suns could also have up to four first-round picks in 2014, which makes their second-round picks more expendable. And I'd imagine that's what it will end up costing for Jackson, who went No. 42 in the 2013 draft.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are 14-21, and their point guards are dropping like flies. I'm not sure whether this team is playing for the playoffs or the lottery from here on out but Pierre Jackson makes sense either way.
Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Kobe Bryant, Xavier Henry—the whole backcourt is dinged up. Jackson could provide some relief, as well as some much-needed offensive firepower.
He might not have the floor game of a guy like Kendall Marshall, but Jackson's speed, shooting accuracy and scoring instincts are on a whole different level. And Jackson is also a proficient pick-and-roll operator, especially thanks to a lethal pull-up jumper. You'd think he'd fit perfectly into Mike D'Antoni's system.
And let's face it—with Blake in the final year of his contract and Nash's future uncertain, it wouldn't hurt to bring in an intriguing point guard like Jackson to develop.
If there's anything to question regarding the Indiana Pacers, it's their backcourt and its ability to keep up offensively.
George Hill has been inconsistent, averaging just 11 points and only 3.3 assists on 42.1 percent shooting.
C.J. Watson has been a nice pickup for Indiana, and Lance Stephenson has evolved into one of the more versatile guards around. But this isn't exactly the most threatening guard trio offensively.
Don't get me wrong, it's a capable bunch. However, Jackson offers a somewhat different dimension of playmaking. He's a breakdown guard—Jackson's quickness off the dribble translates to open shots, whether they're for him or a teammate.
He plays at a different speed than Hill or Watson, and could give Indiana a dangerous change-of-pace option off the bench.
I'm not even sure the Memphis Grizzlies have a backup point guard on the roster anymore. After trading Jerryd Bayless for Courtney Lee, Nick Calathes remains the only capable ball-handler on the bench.
Mike Conley played 42 minutes in Memphis' first game following the trade. Pierre Jackson could give Memphis some immediate relief, along with a prospect to develop at a position of need.
The Grizzlies could also use some offense from their backcourt. They don't get much from the 2-guard position with Mike Miller and Tony Allen, and I'm not sure the addition of Lee will actually move the needle.
Jackson makes sense as an option for Memphis based on positional needs and the current state of the team.
Golden State Warriors
After losing Jarrett Jack last summer, the Golden State Warriors need to address their backcourt depth.
Toney Douglas just isn't very good and Nemanja Nedovic isn't ready to run the point. At the 2, Kent Bazemore brings defense and energy, but he's not much of an outside threat.
How much fun would Pierre Jackson be off the bench for the Golden State Warriors?
He might not be their first choice, as USA Today's Sam Amick reported the Warriors might be interested in going after Chicago's Kirk Hinrich. But if it turns out Hinrich's price is too rich or they're simply unable to acquire him, Jackson could really be an interesting (and cheaper) consolation prize.
Even if it's just to keep the offensive pressure on while Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson take breathers, Jackson could ultimately be a better offensive option than what they're currently working with.
Unlike most rookies, Jackson projects as a player who can help out now instead of possibly later. And the Warriors could use help now for the late 2014 push.