The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that they have elected to waive forward Justin Jackson, after a season that saw spotty minutes for the UNC Product.
The OKC Thunder waiving Justin Jackson, is a bit of a surprise, as many expected Mike Muscala to be the likely buy-out candidate if OKC wanted to make another move, however, many expected the moves to be over.
Prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, Woj of ESPN, reported that “teams have called” about Justin Jackson. Jackson, since the all-star break has put up 9.4 points, a rebound, an assist, and nearly a steal per game. All on good shooting splits, going 40-percent from the floor, 34-percent from deep, and 93-percent from the line.
The Thunder pull off a good-faith move, the team was never going to include Justin Jackson, who would have been an RFA in the offseason, in their future plans. So, they buy him out with no money lingering into next season, and give him an opportunity to catch on to an NBA playoff contender…or at least somewhere he can consistently crack the rotation.
Until the bitter end, Justin Jackson was a solid contributor, great with the media, and an even better teammate. Staying engaged, locked in, and focused with the lack of consistent minutes is hard to do. Jackson did it to perfection.
As a note for a possible Mike Muscala buy-out, which I do not expect to happen but I also did not expect a Justin Jackson buy-out, the deadline to be released and eligible to join a playoff team is April 9th.
From here, the Thunder have a ton of flexibility. With now two open roster spots (one on the active NBA roster, along with the open two-way left by signing Moses Brown) the team can begin to run through ten-day contracts on G-League standouts or young players, such as Omer Yurtseven, and see if anything sticks.
shuffling in ten-day contracts after ten-day contracts, if that is the route OKC wants to go down, is more beneficial than the minutes Justin Jackson was earning.
In the end, Justin Jackson was the 26th man on the MLB roster in the back of the bullpen. An innings-eater on double-header day, or a blowout in July. He did his job serviceable and played his role without issue.