Stephen Jackson On The Move? Why Houston Makes Sense

Jonathan SlotterCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 16:  Stephen Jackson #1 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates near the end of the game against the Atlanta Hawks during an NBA game on January 16, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Stephen Jackson, according to reports, told reporters that he would like to be traded to a contender. He mentioned the Cleveland Cavaliers and the three Texas teams as possible places he would like to go. While Cleveland would be a nice fit, I think Houston makes the most sense for Jackson.

1. Hometown:

Jackson went to Port Arthur Memorial High School which is about an hour outside of Houston before he went to play at Oak Hill Academy. He also lives in Houston during the offseason so this transition would be quite an easy one. He could retire there, keep his home and family there and be right at home.

While there would be no hometown discount for Jackson, who just signed a huge 3 year extension with the Warriors, the Rockets would need to dump McGrady's contract to make this more of a plausible situation. 

2. Style of Play:

The Rockets without Yao have stated they would like to run more. This seems to be right up Jackson's ally. With the tallest players on the team being Scola, Landry, and newly acquired Australian center David Andersen, the Rockets will need to outrun a lot of teams in order to tire out the other team's big men. 

With that being said, the lack of height in the front court can be made up with nice size at the two and three positions. If Jackson was added to the team, the two and three would be Ariza, Battier, and Jackson, all over 6'8 and long, tall, good defenders. 

Jackson would also bring the same toughness and grittiness that Artest brings. Jackson plays tough, plays good defense on the best defender, and provides the same emotion Artest does. Jackson is a competitor who loves to play the game. 

3. Rockets Need a Playmaker:

With the exit of Artest, McGrady permanently shelved, and Yao done for the year, the Rockets need someone who can create off the dribble and provide teammates with opportunities. Other than Aaron Brooks, no one on the Rockets can do this. 

Jackson, who averaged 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds, can do it all. He creates off the dribble for teammates, his own shot, as well as gives opportunities for shooters and post players. 

The Rockets have plenty of shooters in Brooks, Ariza, and Battier but pressure will be needed to relieve Brooks. Jackson would be the perfect compliment. Also, the length of Ariza, Battier, and Jackson would rival the Lakers with Odom, Kobe, and Artest. The Rockets are already solid on defense but will need to have consistent offense to keep up in the west.

Also don't forget in the month of February, pretty much the only month Jackson was completely healthy, he averaged 27 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. This rivals Lebron, Kobe, and D-Wade. 

4. Contender:

The Rockets are a contender in the West, and showed last year in the playoffs that they don't need Yao to win. The Rockets are a contender in the West, and showed last year in the playoffs that they don't need Yao to win. The one thing they were lacking, as I stated earlier, was a consistent scorer (which Artest did not provide) and a big man, which they seem to have found in Andersen, well he will at least suffice.

The Spurs picked up Richard Jefferson, the Cavs have Shaq and play perhaps the slowest game in the world, and the Mavs are headed in the wrong direction. Houston is young, up and coming, with all the tools, and his hometown, with the correct style of play to entice the Captain to come play for them.