5 Players the Miami Heat Should Look to Trade for by the Trade Deadline

17 Min Read

3. Reggie Jackson (Oklahoma City Thunder)


Like Jordan Hill, 6’3″ point guard Reggie Jackson is having the best season of his career since being drafted out of Boston College by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2011 NBA draft.

With superstar forward Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook missing a combined 41 games this season, Reggie Jackson has stepped in and stepped up to the fill the void for the Thunder on the offensive end.

Jackson is averaging 12.9 points, 4.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game and kept the Thunder in the hunt for the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference while Durant and Westbrook missed action early in the season.

The Thunder traded for mercurial Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters in early January, and he has provided fairly steady offensive production in a starting role off the bench since joining the team.

Now, OKC’s backcourt is talented but crowded, which may mean Jackson is the odd man out. While Waiters has been shuffled in and out of the starting lineup, Jackson has again been relegated to backup duties behind Westbrook.

As long as Westbrook plays for the Thunder, Jackson will have to get used to that role.

Jackson is making approximately $2.4 million dollars for the 2014-2015 season and will be a restricted free agent this summer. The Thunder could conceivably match any offer sheet that is presented to Jackson after the season, but why would they?

Westbrook is the starting point guard for the Thunder until further notice. Waiters is a shooting guard, but he is both taller and more athletic than Jackson is still on his rookie contract and locked in through next season.

Jackson will command a high salary (if not quite max dollars) in the open market, and he will almost certainly be looking to start. In fact, he may prioritize starting over money this summer.

The Thunder, who traded away James Harden and Jeff Green before they hit restricted free agency and already have two max-contract players on the payroll, are not likely to make Jackson the highest-paid backup point guard in the NBA.

In a point guard-driven league, having an effective play-caller in the backcourt is critical to a team’s success. The Heat managed to finesse the issue over the last four seasons, with LeBron James and Wade running the show. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole were solid complementary players in that system, but the three-headed monster of Chalmers, Cole and rookie Shabazz Napier has been inconsistent at best this season.

Jackson could provide immediate stability at the point guard position for the Heat, and as he has demonstrated in Oklahoma City, he can help carry a team down a couple of superstars.

With Wade’s nagging hamstring and Bosh’s calf issues, Jackson could help orchestrate the Heat’s offense with Luol Deng, while Chalmers, Cole and Napier might contribute more effectively when they are assuming a more reasonable and talent-appropriate workload.

The Heat’s backcourt as currently constructed might push Miami across the finish line and into the playoffs, but they have very little chance to carry the team in a playoff series against the likes of Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, John Wall or Kyle Lowry.

Next: Lance Stephenson (Charlotte Hornets)

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Responsive-Ad”]

Share This Article
Rizwan is a graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School and is a fan of all sports, but in particular basketball (NBA and NCAA). He has been a freelance writer since 2011 and is proud to be a staff writer for HeatNation.com.