October 12, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Eric Maynor (6) dribbles during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Eric Maynor beats out Reggie Jackson for OKC Thunder backup PG job


Eric Maynor played in just nine games last season for the Oklahoma City Thunder before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the year. It’s easy to forget just how great of a backup point guard Maynor was.

Maynor is back now at full strength from the injury and most people thought the backup point guard job would simply be handed to him upon his return.

That wasn’t the case as head coach Scott Brooks gave Reggie Jackson a fair shot at earning the job.

Jackson even got more run than Maynor to start the preseason and was doing a nice job of filling up the stat sheet with more rebounds and steals than Maynor would chip in. The turnovers remained high for Jackson while Maynor’s assist-to-turnovers ratio was pretty in the preseason.

Brooks said today that Maynor has won the job of backing up starting point guard Russell Westbrook.

This isn’t a surprise and Maynor definitely deserves it. Jackson has come a long way though and looks leagues better than what he showed last season in his rookie campaign.

This probably doesn’t mean Jackson will never play though. Brooks has hinted before about lineups that may include Jackson and Maynor together. But this shouldn’t happen often either especially after the Thunder just acquired Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb.

This could mean too that Jackson won’t be dressing every game. Teams don’t exactly need three point guards on the roster and that’s what the Thunder would have in Westbrook, Maynor and Jackson.

The Thunder just signed Daniel Orton today too and having three centers in Kendrick Perkins, Hasheem Thabeet and Orton might be a better idea than Jackson.

The Thunder decided not to offer Maynor a contract extension which means he will become a restricted free agent next summer and possibly playing in his last year with OKC. This means it will be important this year to groom Jackson to take over the backup point job for next year and beyond.

Right now, the Thunder need Maynor more than ever to win this season, especially with James Harden out of the picture. Maynor is now by far the best playmaker for the Thunder unless Westbrook can improve drastically in that department.

Maynor might even become part of closing units for the Thunder with Westbrook at the two and Martin, Durant and Ibaka on the floor.

We will get to see Maynor’s much anticipated return to regular season basketball for OKC Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST when the Thunder travel to take on the San Antonio Spurs.

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