Portland Trail Blazers: 3 Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Clippers FA targets

Reggie Jackson, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Reggie Jackson, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers
Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Reggie Jackson could be a great backup point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers

Reggie Jackson has re-molded himself as a player and had a career revival since signing with the Clippers, after being bought out by the Detroit Pistons. After being traded to the Pistons, believing that he was meant to be more than a backup to Russell Westbrook, Jackson struggled to establish himself as a top-option for an NBA team.

In just under 300 games played for Detroit, Jackson averaged 16.2 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 35 percent from beyond the arc.

Jackson wasn’t necessarily bad for the Pistons, but he was certainly overpaid and proved that he wasn’t good enough to be a starter, let alone a franchise cornerstone.

Now at 30 years old, he’s playing some of the best ball of his career as a backup guard for the Clippers. After being bought out, Jackson signed two separate contracts with Los Angeles. First, he signed a deal worth just over $700K to finish the 2019-2020 season with the Clips. Then, he re-signed on a 1-year/$2.3 million agreement for 2020-2021, according to spotrac.

Since coming to LA, Jackson has shown that he can be a more than serviceable backup floor general. For the Clips, he’s averaged 10.4 points and 3.1 assists while playing just under 23 minutes a night. He’s also had the most efficient season-and-a-half of his career in his new threads, according to statmuse. With LA, he’s slashing 45/43/84 with a 55 effective field goal percentage, the highest of his career.

After leaving Detroit, he drastically improved his efficiency and commitment to playmaking. He’s also at least more active as a defender now than he was for the Pistons.

He played a crucial role in helping Paul George put away the Utah Jazz, sans Kawhi Leonard—dropping 27 points and 10 dimes in a close-out game six.

Jackson’s playmaking is not one of the more talked about aspects of his game, but it’s certainly not a weakness. Watch as he uses his handle and eyes to glue Rudy Gobert to the paint, before firing off a cross-body dart to the left corner for a wide-open Terance Mann triple.

The Blazers need a backup point guard who can be trusted to run the offense when Damian Lillard needs a blow. Not only could Jackson effectively create for others off the bench, he can get points in bunches on his own.

Here, he uses his speed and ball-handling to take a very good defender in Joe Ingles straight to the rack for a bucket. Portland desperately needs another player who can put pressure on the opponents’ rim like Jackson. He wasn’t dubbed Mr. Rocktober for no reason.

Jackson had another standout game, starting for LA in Game 1 against the Phoenix Suns. He poured in 24 points, the only Clipper besides Paul George to chip in more than 11, and added 4 assists, finishing 10-19 from the floor.

If he continues to have these types of performances, he’ll sign for much more than the paltry $2.3 million contract he played on this year. Still, with the league’s overabundance of talented guards and few teams with significant spending money, the Blazers could potentially sign him for their $5 million mid-level exception later this summer. If that’s possible, Reggie Jackson would be a welcome addition to the Portland reserve unit.