Saturday, August 29, 2009

Missing Piece?

Stephen Jackson is looking to change zip codes:
Golden State Warriors forward Stephen Jackson says he has requested a trade and prefers to be dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers or any of the NBA's three teams in Texas.

Jackson's wishes are rooted in a desire to play for a team that consistently makes the postseason, he says, something the Warriors have done only once in the past 15 seasons.

"At this point, I'm 31 years old. I have four or five years left," Jackson told Dime Magazine on Friday. "I want to be in a situation where I can continually be in the playoffs and get another ring. So that's where my mind is at now."

I would be completely on board with this. In fact, I targeted Jackson at least season's trade deadline:

From a basketball standpoint, I'm not sure you can get a better fit for the Cavs than Stephen Jackson. The man can hit threes (career 34%), he's playoff tested (in both San Antonio and Golden State), he's 6-8 (meaning he can guard bigger 2-guards) and while his shooting stats are down this year (39% FG, 29% 3pt) his assists are way up (6.0 per game).

The only questions (to me anyways) are his temperment and his contract. As far as the craziness goes, since he's been in California, he seems to have calmed down a bit. And as for the contract, yes, he's signed through 2013, but he's under $10 mil for every year but the last.

If you have the chance to plug Jackson in next to LeBron and Mo, you could have yourself a scary good team. Imagine having Jax and Bron-Bron ballhawking on the wing? Those are two very long and very tall perimeter defenders.

The guy has played for Mike Brown, he's thrived next to superstars (Tim Duncan and B-Diddy) and basketball-wise... well, it seems like a no brainer.

If you plug Jackson in a lineup next to Mo, LeBron, Varejao and Shaq (with Delonte becoming a super sub) you'd have yourself a very formidable playoff team.

Yes, his age and contract are an issue (but if the plan is "2010 or Bust", then who cares?). But his teammates love him, he plays well in big games and he's won while playing next to superstars.

As for what you'd give up, I'd like to make sure they keep Delonte. But besides that, I'm OK with them parting with J.J. Hickson and even Z if it comes to it (I know it's not a given he'd be bought out, but you really think Nellie's Warriors would have use for a veteran, slow, white center with bad feet?).


Erik said...

The Cavs have no one to trade. Z makes $11.5M this year, so the Cavs couldn't take on Jackson's salary ($7.6M) without another piece. And I don't think Ferry can deal Z without receiving another quality big in return, which the Warriors don't have a lot of. So unless Ferry can coax an S-Jax/Andris Biendris package from the Warriors, that's probably not going to work.

The best match the Cavs have for Jackson from a talent and salary standpoint is Mo Williams ($8.8M). After the Orlando series, there are a number of Cavs fans who think Mo is overrated and expendable, but he isn't.

I also don't think it's a good idea for anyone to assume that Z would negotiate a buyout if he gets traded. He might, but once he's traded, it's out of the Cavs' control. Never buy a house with money from a job you don't have yet. Even if you think you're going to get the job, you don't have it until you have it. Same rules apply for a Z buyout.

Ben said...

re: Z buyout. I don't disagree, just that of all the teams that would just want Z's salary and not his game, Golden State ranks right behind Phoenix.

davemanddd said...

you know, i can't help but wonder if stephen jackson might not be part of the problem with golden state in the first place??? he just strikes me as being one of those selfish players who can put up good numbers on bad teams, but can't play on a winning team to save his life. i would just as soon see the cavs pull a nancy reagan and just say "no" when it comes to jackson.

Ben said...

he won a title in San Antonio and he was a main cog on the GS team that upset Dallas.

His trouble has been more off the court (nightclubs, etc) than on it. His teammates absolutely love him and he works hard.

Golden State never should've given him that extension. It's one of those contracts that immediately becomes an albatross.

Erik said...

S-Jax is also 31 and inked for four more seasons. I'd take Jax for maybe two seasons, but four is pushing it.

You can work hard, that's great and a definite plus. But you still need the athleticism to play the game at an elite level. If you slow a couple of steps as you inch into your 30s, that could really kill your game. It's particularly true if you're a wing player and have to guard the likes of Melo and D-Wade.

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