Clippers' Updated Roster, Salary Cap After Reggie Jackson's 2-Year, $22M Contract

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 30: Reggie Jackson #1 of the LA Clippers reacts to a basket and a foul with teammates Terance Mann #14 and Paul George #13 against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on June 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, 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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly brought back another key player from last season's roster Friday by signing guard Reggie Jackson to a two-year, $22 million contract.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported details of Jackson's deal, which represented the maximum allowable by the collective bargaining agreement. ESPN's Bobby Marks provided further details about the agreement:

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

Cap hit on Jackson signing:<br><br>2021/22: $10,384,500<br>2022/23: $11,215,260<br><br>They are signing him with the early bird exception that required a minimum of 2 seasons (not including an option).<br><br>LAC still has the $5.9M tax ML<br><br>13 guaranteed contracts (if you include Kawhi) <a href="https://t.co/RtVXuHeVtx">https://t.co/RtVXuHeVtx</a>

Including the reported re-signing of Nicolas Batum, the Clippers have 12 players under contract for the 2021-22 NBA season, though Kawhi Leonard is expected to eventually re-sign to join the list:

  • Paul George
  • Marcus Morris Sr.
  • Patrick Beverley
  • Luke Kennard
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Serge Ibaka
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Ivica Zubac
  • Nicolas Batum
  • Yogi Ferrell
  • Terance Mann
  • Daniel Oturu

Before the potential Leonard contract, Los Angeles is $53.7 million over the NBA's salary cap but remain $23.9 million under the luxury-tax threshold, per Spotrac.

Assuming Leonard returns, the Clippers will be basically trying to run it back with a squad that posted a 47-25 record in the regular season to earn the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

They reached the conference finals before getting knocked out in six games by the second-seeded Phoenix Suns.

Leonard's availability for the 2021-22 campaign is unsettled after he underwent surgery in July on a partially torn ACL in his right knee, which is why re-signing depth players like Jackson was so important.

Jackson averaged 10.7 points, 3.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds across 67 games for the Clippers last season and has proved capable of being an impact player either as a starter or off the bench during time with the Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The lingering question is whether L.A. will try to scour the trade market for a potential move to bring in a third star alongside Leonard and George, or whether they'll enter the season without any marquee moves and then reassess their needs at the trade deadline.

One name that's popped up in the rumor mill is Houston Rockets point guard John Wall. Houston is still working through a rebuilding phase, which doesn't make the 30-year-old guard a perfect fit for its roster, and Wall would bring that added star power to L.A.

Since the Clippers are so far over the salary cap, however, they'd have to find a way to make the salaries comparable in order to make that type of blockbuster deal.

Wall is heading into the third season of a four-year, $171.1 million contract that includes a $44.3 million cap hit for 2021-22.

For now, Los Angeles' front office will probably focus on the logistics of getting Leonard back under contract, though with a lot of free-agent movement already complete, there aren't any teams with the financial flexibility to attract the two-time NBA Finals MVP, furthering the belief he'll end up back with the Clippers eventually.

Once that happens, then perhaps the Clips can see whether there's a trade that makes sense before they tip off the new season in October.