At this point in free agency teams are looking for bargains. The New York Knicks are definitely in that boat because they only have the minimum left to offer free agents. In looking for a reserve small forward to backup Carmelo Anthony the Knicks need to look around for the best overall player they can get to take the minimum. That brings us to a 14 year veteran who is a two-way player, Stephen Jackson.
Steven Jackson, a 6'8", 220 pound small forward, was drafted 43rd overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He began his professional career playing for the La Crosse Bobcats of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) in 1997 and 1998.
He then played for the Sydney Kings in Australia in 1998, the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA in 1999, the Marinos de Oriente in Venezuela and for San Carlos in the Dominican Republic in 1999 and 2000 and for Pueblo Nuevo in the Dominican Republic in 2000.
He played for the Atlanta Hawks from 2003-04, the Indiana Pacers from 2004-07, the Golden State Warriors from 2007-09, the Charlotte Bobcats from 2009-11, the Milwaukee Bucks from 2011-12, the Spurs for the second time from 2012-13 and played 9 games with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2013-14.
In an interview with HoopsAddict.com, Jackson said he'd like to return to the NBA if the right opportunity presented itself. The Knicks could be that opportunity. He'd fit in well on the roster and in the system and the move to New York could only help his music career.
To be fair and upfront, this is not the first time Knicks 101 has suggested the Knicks sign Jackson. It seems fairly obvious that he'd be a bargain and one of the few impact players that could be bought for the veteran's minimum.
Jackson's biggest downfall is that he can be a bit of a knucklehead. However, when he's focused he can be an impact player. After being out of the league and turning 36 years old, he should be more focused than ever.
Jackson could offer the Knicks that additional scorer Carmelo Anthony has asked for since Amare Stoudemire has fallen out of All-Star contention.
Jackson could be a good fit for the Knicks. He has experience in up-tempo systems as well as ball-movement offenses. He shoots well behind the three-point arc, can drive to the hoop and has a solid mid-range game.
Greg Poppovich's system in San Antonio is not that dissimilar to the triangle offense the Knicks will be running. There's no reason to believe he wouldn't fit well in New York. He'd also offer New York some much needed veteran leadership.
Defensively, Jackson does a good job almost by mistake. He's basically so aggressively undisciplined that he's effective. Because of his effort and off-kilter defensive style, he tends to push the offense off it's game as well. He's no defensive specialist but he's not the worst defender you've ever seen either and he'd be one of the better two-way players on the Knicks roster.
Pop, on what makes Jackson an effective defender: "Because Jack has absolutely no idea what he's doing. And so neither does the offense."— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) May 28, 2012
Jackson can have a bit of an edge to him. However, he could be a reliable shot-maker worth using a lineup spot on for this inexperienced, cash-strapped and undermanned roster.
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Tags: Basketball, Greg Poppovich, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Stephen Jackson