Stephen Jackson played with enviable intensity and, most importantly, his emotions were intact (for the most part). He fulfilled his role much better than Richard Jefferson ever did. Unlike RJ, the “nasty” persona came natural to Jack. He’s in the final year of his contract with $10.6 million guaranteed to his name.
There is the possibility for a trade but, if Jackson continues to play well, could he be in line for an extension in 2013? Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News speculates that San Antonio may consider retaining Jack.
So Popovich laid out his priorities. He told Jackson he wanted his toughness, and there could be minutes for him. But Popovich also told him he liked Kawhi Leonard as his small forward, and nothing would be guaranteed.
Then, Popovich said something else. “We’re not talking about an extension.”
This is the power of clarity and honesty. Popovich does it as well as anyone, and it’s a reason Jackson has said Popovich connects with him better than any other coach has.
It’s a reason Jackson responded so well last season. And if Jackson is the same next year, don’t be stunned by something else.
Jackson might get another contract in 2013.
By next season, Jackson will be 35-years-old. That’s not exactly a prime age to sign another contract extension. It would be a very risky move for San Antonio to rely on an aging player that doesn’t have the skill of a Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili. Jackson improved dramatically with the Spurs but his 26 game stint with Charlotte — he posted career lows in TS%, PER, TRB%, TOV% and offensive rating — is certainly alarming.
As a Spurs fan, I love Stephen Jackson. I want him to be a Spur … as long as it makes sense economically. The market for Jack is fluid considering he still has one year remaining to influence the price. Who knows what kind of compensation he will garner? At the end of the day, I just don’t feel too comfortable relying on aging role players that have a propensity to flame out.
San Antonio can’t afford to overpay for declining performance.