Jackson unlikely to sign extension with Thunder

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Reggie Jackson has been in the league for three years now with the Oklahoma City Thunder and is now eligible for a contract extension. The Thunder have till October 31st to sign that extension with Jackson, if they don’t he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the 2015 season. Berry Tramel of NewsOk thinks a deal is unlikely considering the changing financial landscape of the NBA

The Thunder would prefer to lock up Jackson this offseason, but that’s not likely. It’s possible that Jackson plays for a contract in each of the next two seasons in Oklahoma City (NewsOk)

Wait, two seasons? He’d be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2015 season and already eligible to sign anywhere. So why did Tramel say two seasons? That’s where the changing financial landscape of the NBA comes into play.

Playing out their rookie contracts for five years without signing an extension would make Jackson and his classmates totally free in summer 2016, when the NBA’s television contracts with ESPN and TNT expire, and they are expected to mushroom in value. Which means the payroll cap will rise, and salaries will rise, and anyone who is free in summer 2016 (which includes Durant, sorry to bring it up) will reap the benefits.(NewsOk)

Basically Tramel thinks Jackson would follow Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe’s lead and sign a qualifying offer once eligible which would allow him to become a free agent the following season. For Jackson though that would be much more profitable with the NBA and it’s new money.

Because of all this CBS Sports thinks Jackson’s best value for the Thunder might come as trade bait. The team will likely Jackson and Russell Westbrook in 2015 but what that does is leave them without a true shooting guard. The Thunder are a team with championship hopes so a more balanced lineup would be beneficial.

Jackson honestly might have more value on the trade market, which might provide the Thunder an opportunity to bring in some quality depth along with a viable two-guard. Jackson’s proven he can be a legitimate starting point guard, and if a team believes in his long-term development, they might be willing to give up short-term assets for him.(CBS Sports)

I’m sure the Thunder will give the backcourt of Jackson and Westbrook a long look before making decision as they’ve got a long time to make a decision on Jackson’s future.

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