With two weeks having passed since the NBA’s February 6 trade deadline, the Los Angeles Clippers will likely be returning to action after the All-Star Break with not just one, but two key acquisitions. Aside from forward Marcus Morris, who has played a few games in Los Angeles since being acquired from the New York Knicks ahead of the deadline, the team is also expected to sign former Detroit Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson, who was recently bought out. The Clippers’ crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, were also rumored to be interested in Jackson, but as a new report suggests, there’s a reason why a move to the purple-and-gold might not have been in the cards at all.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday night, Bleacher Report‘s Eric Pincus replied to a user who shared a screenshot of a deleted Twitter post from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, which claimed the Lakers “had hoped” to sign Jackson after coming up empty in terms of pre-trade deadline deals. According to Pincus, he doesn’t believe the Lakers actually tried to land the veteran point guard, given the fact that his agent, Aaron Mintz, is “close” to Clippers superstar Paul George.
Citing a follow-up post from Pincus, ClutchPoints wrote that Mintz’s firm, CAA, does not have any issues with Klutch Sports, which represents current Lakers players Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. However, he added that CAA has been “out of sync” with the Lakers for some time, thus further supporting the new rumors.
“This tells me Kawhi needs a lot of help… They’re sure gathering a lot of Infinity Stones for him.”
@ShannonSharpe on Reggie Jackson set to join the Clippers after buyout from Pistons pic.twitter.com/HLiwmjj1Sj
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) February 19, 2020
Considered by multiple sources as the best player available via the buyout market, Jackson averaged 14.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 5.1 assists for the Pistons in just 10 games with the team this season, per Basketball-Reference. While his stats mostly took a slight dip this season due to injuries, the nine-year veteran has been a starter for most of his career, posting a career-best 18.8 points and 6.2 assists per game in the 2015-16 campaign, which marked his first full season in Detroit.
Commenting on the fallout of Jackson’s likely move to the Clippers, ClutchPoints wrote that he may get “instant minutes” with his new team, as starting point guard Patrick Beverley is still recovering from a groin injury. As for the Lakers, the publication noted that the organization still needs someone to assist James with his playmaking duties, adding that they have, once again, been “outmaneuvered by their nosy neighbors.”
With Jackson apparently off the market, the Lakers reportedly have a few other free-agent targets who were recently waived or bought out. These include Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson, the latter of whom was also linked to the Clippers earlier this month.