How Much Value Does Reggie Jackson Have For The Oklahoma City Thunder?


The Oklahoma City Thunder know they have a budding young star in Reggie Jackson. They knew it when they drafted him late in the first round a couple of years ago. They saw that value in the playoffs two seasons ago as he seamlessly replaced the injured Russell Westbrook for the remainder of the post season AND they once again saw that value last season as he filled in for the Thunder starting unit as Russ recovered from further knee surgeries. In the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder saw just how much value Reggie had as they inserted him into the starting unit alongside Westbrook to create havoc.

Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to find out just how valuable Reggie Jackson is.

This past off-season was filled with players scoring themselves what many widely regard as “above average / market value” contracts. Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, Lance Stephenson, Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison. There were plenty of offers that raised more than a few eyebrows depending on which side of the fence you sat. Now, the Thunder – known for being quite frugal in the financial management of the franchise – are going to be in a battle to retain the services of their back up point guard (or potential starting shooting guard).

If OKC and Reggie can’t come to terms before October 31st, then Jackson can become a restricted free agent, meaning he can be signed to an offer sheet by any other club after this season, and then the Thunder can choose whether to match.

While Jackson has always maintained he loves the Thunder, he leaves no room for speculation when he says he “wants to be a starter”, that he wants to “run a team” and that “when he hangs up his sneakers, there are certain things he wants to have accomplished”. This is where things are going to get very tricky. See Jackson plays the point guard spot, but the Thunder have Westbrook. OKC are trying to work out a way of allowing both these dynamic guards to play alongside each other, but how well that is achieved might be the defining factor in Jackson’s decision.

If one of those “things to accomplish” is an NBA title, then arguably Reggie should stay put. The Thunder have shown themselves to be perennial title contenders over the past three or four seasons, and they only look like improving. However, is a starting point guard job and money is what ticks the boxes, then Jackson will most likely suit up elsewhere in the future.

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While it looks as though the Oklahoma City Thunder have a delicate situation on their hands, they do also hold the better cards. See, OKC can offer plenty of minutes, potentially a starting role and the chance to contend. That’s a decent package. They can also offer him decent money, even if it falls short of the bigger offers that will be placed in front of him by rebuilding and fringe playoff teams. Not to mention, Jackson and the Thunder have formed a terrific relationship. However, if Jackson is unwilling to commit to the franchises plan for the future, then the Thunder could really cash in.

If the Thunder have to look at life without Reggie, then they might just pull the trigger on a trade before the season commences (think Jeff Green or most recently James Harden). There will be no shortage of teams who would love to get their hands on Reggie Jackson – even if it is just for a season – and then try to convince him to stay by offering the starting spot and serious coin. That could work in OKC’s favor, securing themselves another piece, or pieces to a) help them contend this season and in the future and b) provide even more financial flexibility moving forward to ensure Kevin Durant stays.

Reggie Jackson is definitely a valuable commodity – just how that translates is anyone’s guess.