This morning was like any other when I woke up.
Shower, get changed, chase the kanagroos off my lawn, wake up the wife and kids and get the breakfast machine rolling. Finally I checked in on the tides of twitter to see if any of the humans I know got traded while i slumbered through the night on the GMT +10 hours line.
Imagine my surprise when i see that the spurs actually participated in a trade, and it was the one contract I was nearly certain we would not be able to move. Our front office is the original contrarian collective, it's almost as if they find the path of most resistance and drive along it with their arms out the window giving the world the finger just because they can. Regardless. Boom. Captain Jack is back.
Sometimes In a world gone mad, the only cure is Cowbell . And i LOVE me some cowbell.
Why do I
like love this trade?
On a financial front the Spurs get an expiring contract and still have an amnesty in their pocket. This gives the front office the ability to amnesty Bonner (or even in a pinch corey joseph) next season if they need to. I know thats unlikely but it allows the team to have the kind of fluid salary hold that lets big things happen. It probably wont come down to it, but being able to get another $8,000,000 off the books over the next two seasons is something we now have in the holster.
It astounds me that we were able to rid ourselves of RJ without having to take on any salary. Not to mention that because we didn't have to amnesty a player to get rid of the salary, there is a fair chance that if Jackson comes out smelling of roses and is actually a great fit, we are the best positioned team to resign him. If he doesn't he can go whistle or should a team over the cap want him, we have an opportunity to include him in a sign and trade bringing in a player we need / draft picks. Whatever happens, we have more options than ever in a buyers market. Amnestying RJ's contract would have meant losing the player as well without any chance at retrieving an asset.
There will be teams willing to trade away draft picks with players next season to clear cap space when they luxury tax comes calling. Cash considerations + a swap of picks could still move us up high enough to take a player the front office likes if necessary. We were picking in the 26-28 range unless we suffer a train wreck home stretch. Thats a second round pick in all but name. I'm really keen to see the conditional status attached to that pick by the way.
Financially league restrictions on salary have never been tougher than they will be next season, and cap space in my opinion will have never been more valuable. The spurs are going to be in a prime position to take advantage of this as one of the most flexible payrolls in the association.
Motivation is obviously key when considering a temperament like Captain Jacks. Pop and the staff know this guy though, and when he was asking for a trade a few years ago he expressly stated a desire to go to the spurs.
I don't think we can underestimate the fact that the guy liked playing here and wanted to come back. He knows exactly who this team belongs to and how it operates. He has no issues playing hard when motivated and he has to be motivated after getting ground under by the Scott Skiles experience in Milwaukee. To him, the spurs and Pop will be like a party town after Skiles. It's a vet laden team that has a great work ethic and actually worked to bring him on board.
Finally from a pure basketball standpoint. He is a better all round player than RJ. Rj has been regressing before our eyes all over again this season, and this last month has been brutal. Jackson represents significantly more upside, utility and most notably aggression. This is not a passive player.
If he is playing within the system (and this is not the kind of team where he will get away with playing outside of it) his shooting numbers will be just fine. He has a limited ability to create for himself and others that exceeds RJ's and most of the others on our team outside of TP & Manu, and more importantly he gives us insurance for our guard rotation.
The acquisition of Captain Jack lets Pop give TP & Manu rest all the way in to the playoffs. We have 20 back to backs in our final 28 games. This lets Pop limit the minutes on the home stretch of our big time weapons offensively, and keeps Jackson happy because he will get opportunities to contribute on a winning team. Having a third string creator will also allow Pop to play Green and Co without having to force them to be playmakers, or at least spread the responsibility around.
I really think this is a big win for our spurs in a very limited trade window. Its an exceptionally low risk move with enormous upside.