Spurs Win Big In Jefferson/Jackson Trade
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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The San Antonio Spurs and forward Richard Jefferson finally parted ways prior to Thursday’s 2 p.m. trading deadline as he was shipped to Golden State, along with a conditional first round pick, in exchange for Warriors forward Stephen Jackson.
Jackson was acquired by the Warriors earlier this week in a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks that also included Andrew Bogut. Bogut was their top target, while Jackson was purely a filler to make the trade work under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Warriors immediately started shopping Jackson and the Spurs were eager to get him back in the silver and black.
Jackson started 58 games during the Spurs’ championship run in 2003, averaging 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. He signed with the Atlanta Hawks that summer and went on to play the best basketball in his career during the following years in Golden State and Indiana.
While Jackson has bounced around quite a bit and been a handful to deal with at times, the Spurs have always had confidence that their culture and system will prevent any serious issues from occurring. By all accounts, Jackson and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich had a good relationship and are excited to be reunited.
The fact that Jackson’s arrival comes on the heels of Jefferson’s departure makes the deal even sweeter for the Spurs. The two have long been looking to part ways, but just haven’t been able to do so. Jefferson almost left as an unrestricted free agent in 2010, but couldn’t find a better deal than what the Spurs were offering. The Spurs were on the verge of using their amnesty clause on Jefferson this offseason, but missed out on their top targets in free agency and decided to keep him for at least another year.
Jefferson never found himself as a Spur and should benefit from the move to a Warriors’ system that better fits his strength.
Jackson made $9.2 million this season and is owed $10 million in 2012-2013, after which is contract expires. Jefferson meanwhile, also makes $9.2 million this year and is owed $21.2 million through 2014. He has a player option for the final year worth $11 million.