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Thunder’s Reggie Jackson admits he’d like to start next year

Jun 2, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three Getty Images

A few weeks ago this would have seemed a longshot, now it seems logical.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks is very wed to his starting five — for evidence see Kendrick Perkins — and the defensive minded Thabo Sefolosha was part of that. But needing more offense against the San Antonio Spurs Brooks benched Sefolosha and started Reggie Jackson — and it worked the Thunder offense was improved. The defense struggled when he was switched onto Kawhi Leonard but that wasn’t about Jackson so much as what the Spurs do well.

Jackson got a taste of starting and wants to keep doing it, he said at his exit interview, as reported by Royce Young at Daily Thunder.

“I’d like to be a starter. I’m not going to lie.”

So, Brooks, how about that? Willing to change your starting rotation?

“Positions are available,” he said. “I can say that….

“I hate to put myself in that position (keeping Jackson in starting five) because who knows what will happen over the summer … [Reggie] can play both positions, as can Russ. They can play together, that was proven in this series.”

The other factor here is Sefolosha is a free agent. He has never been a scorer but he has been a long, quality defender who on offense was a threat as a spot-up three point shooter… until this season. He shot just 31.6 percent from three. In 2013 he shot 46 percent on corner threes, in 2014 34 percent. You can’t be a “3 and D” player without the three, and he was this season.

The Thunder may not bring him back. OKC is not in a position to easily make a lot of roster changes — they are over the cap at $68 million even without a new Sefolosha contract. This is a small market team not spending way over the cap and any moves they make are more likely to be trades, or just counting on internal improvement.

Counting more on Jackson. It seems a smart move. He’s earned a starting spot.

  1. nfl4days - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:23 AM

    Reggie at the 1, move Russ to the 2, and for the love of god, upgrade from Kendrick Perkins. The thunder need way more than a guy who’s only good for a mean look, some hard fouls, and a small scuffle. Then work on developing a solid bench. Miami and SA have guys coming off the bench who could start on lesser teams. That’s what could put OKC over the edge.

    • nfl4days - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:31 AM

      I mean, Perkins is awful. You could pick up free agent NFL lineman that could do what he does. The guy gives you nothing offensively and is mediocre at best on defense. His best defensive move is a quick swipe to the forearm then hope the and-1 doesn’t happen. Garbage.

      • enigma2742 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM


    • rrhoe - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      They could replace Perkins with Steven Adams.

  2. zoomy123 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:32 AM

    First, let’s get one thing clear, adding Reggie Jackson to the starting lineup did NOT improve the Thunder offense. All it did was move the Thunder’s weakness from the starting lineup to the bench, which was evidenced by the fact that OKC scored 5 bench points in game 6. And all 5 points were scored by the 39 year old Derek Fisher.

    Second, if Reggie Jackson is moved into the starting lineup, then what’s going to happen to their bench during the regular season? You gonna have Westbrook or Durant play with a lineup of Perkins, Adams, Sefolosha, Lamb, and Butler? My response: LOLOLOL!

    • nickjackalson - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:44 AM

      letmesee..Westbrook or Durant together with Sefolosha, Lamb, Butler and either Perkins or Adams – I´d favor Adams … haven´t I seen an Iverson-led Philly team reach the finals with a similar composition? 1 scorer and scrubs that bust their tail on D? maybe the D part is where the comparison doesn´t hold up..but I think the thunder did just fine using the aforementioned lineups in the regular season, no?

  3. ravenswhat - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Good luck getting the ball with Durant and Westbrook. I think those guys prob take 75% of the shots.

  4. moseskkim - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    I think the head of the snake is ginobili and u need a defensive stopper on him like thabo. When they put reggie on him, “thank u scott brooks” says manu.. U put fisher on a guy like Jamal Crawford same stuff.. Offense may get better but for sure defensively u lose a lot

  5. loubearkane - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Need Westbrook to move to the 2 so Jackson can get them into an offensive set before West/Durant starting chucking up shots.

  6. grantgoodman93 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Start whoever you want, do whatever you want. This team has peaked under Scott Brooks.

  7. rrhoe - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    OKC has to get help thru through the draft and low level vets. Would be nice if they can find a vet that was a former starter with some scoring abilities.

  8. kb2408 - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Reggie is no doubt a starter. OKC only needs to add bench strength and replace Perk with a better center. They don’t even need a star at center. A center that can give them 12 & 10 a night, and plays good defense, makes them a championship team. And for goodness sakes end any thoughts of trading Russell! KD and Russ can win a title together.

  9. padraighansen - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    This sounds crazy, but I’d love to see Ramon Sessions running the second unit in OKC. If you move both RJ and RW into the starting back court, having a guy like Sessions – a defensive liability but an above average back-up offensive PG – then this works. Luke Ridnour also wouldn’t be a bad choice.

    The Thunder need better permitter defense and better shooting. They made a run and Mike Miller and lost….they could use a Novak, Korver, Crawford type who can drain the 3 and stretch the defense.

  10. El Pollo Loco - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Is he the straw that stirs the drink?

  11. CM Diaz - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Some possibilities that might make OKC have a tougher bench acquiring free agents: Luol Deng, Kris Humprhies, Chris Kaman, Dejuan Blair, Pau Gasol??? that would be interesting

    Of course there is the salary cap issue but some of these names would be interesting to mix with OKC

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