Last season ending prematurely for Stephen Jackson as he was released by the San Antonio Spurs, but there might be still a chance for him to find some NBA work, with the Houston Rockets interested in adding some veteran talent to their team.
The problem for the Rockets besides the questions about Jackson’s ability to pull off one more season in the league in terms of his physical shape and interest is their roster. They currently have 18 players under contract, although five of them aren’t guaranteed. In order for Jackson to make it to opening day they’ll need to cut four players, with swingman Robert Covington, center Jordan Henriquez, guards Reggie Williams and B.J. Young hoping to survive training camp and preseason.
Jackson averaged 6.2 points per game last season for the Spurs on 19.5 minutes a night, but was surprised like most that he was released from the team just before the playoffs, which cleared way for Tracy McGrady to be added to the roster although he didn’t play a single meaningful minute for the team in the postseason.
Some are suggesting that there is a very small chance Jackson will actually find someone willing to pick him up for next season and he’ll have to try and find a team in Europe or a different, non-NBA league, but the 35 year old, who has played in the league for 13 seasons, isn’t planning on giving up.
In terms of ability, Jackson should find a place in the league on at least one of the teams. However, lottery-bound teams don’t add players like Jackson as they attempt staying young and cheap (although Jackson won’t cost much anyway). For others teams with playoff and title hopes, there’s a constant fear of Jackson’s strong personality and misleading reputation, which might keep him out of the job this time around, at least at the beginning of the season.