Jackson, Thunder Can't Reach Extension Deal
By Randy Renner
As had been expected by many the Oklahoma City Thunder and backup point guard Reggie Jackson were not able to come to an agreement on a contract extension.
Jackson and Thunder GM Sam Presti had said all through the process they hoped to able to get to common ground in the negotiations but Presti also said over the summer that he wouldn't be surprised if that didn't happen.
Jackson has said repeatedly he wants to be a starter and a starter at point guard in particular. During the preseason there'd been some speculation that Jackson might get a couple of starts at shooting guard but that never happened and that job belongs to Andre Roberson.
Presti released a statement last night saying, "we are looking forward to re-opening the conversations this coming July and expect Reggie to continue to be a core member of the Thunder for many years to come."
Jackson now becomes a restricted and free agent so the Thunder will be able to match any offer sheet Jackson gets from another team.
It's not clear exactly what the market will be for Jackson but it only takes one team making a max offer to blow up the scenario Presti laid out in his statement.
Jackson proved last season he could be a solid starting point guard ion the NBA when he filled in for Russell Westbrook while he recovered from additional knee surgery. Jackson will showcase those talents again this season as Westbrook is expected to miss the next month or so recovering from a broken finger.
Over the summer Jackson said he "hoped" a failure to get an extension from the Thunder wouldn't become a distraction.
We're about to find out. Hopefully Jackson, who has been out with a sprained ankle, will make his regular season debut tonight against Denver.