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Stephen Jackson Released: What Does it Mean For the Thunder?

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He averaged 15.8 points while shooting 72% from the field in the final four games of the Thunder-Spurs series.

The epic battle is no more!
The epic battle is no more!

Via Adrian Wojnarowski:

After recurring disagreements with the team about his diminishing role, the San Antonio Spurs released forward Stephen Jackson on the cusp of the playoffs, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.


Nevertheless, disagreements over Jackson's role resurfaced in recent days, and the Spurs believed that Jackson had started to have a negative impact on the team's younger players. Within the Spurs, the organization didn't believe Jackson was playing well enough to bring him into the playoffs under these circumstances, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

To me, this comes as pretty shocking news. Though I don't really keep tabs on the Spurs internal disagreements, I would have considered Stephen Jackson to play a pretty integral role in their playoff run, especially considering the fact that they may have to guard Kevin Durant in the conference finals. Then again, they do have Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, both of whom are pretty legitimate in their own right.

At 35 years old, Captain Jack isn't the player that he used to be. He was shooting pretty terrible percentages overall, but did have his moments and did play in clutch moments for the Spurs. Perhaps most memorable were his performances against the Thunder in their series with the Spurs last year. He averaged 15.8 points while shooting 72% from the field in the final four games of the series, all of which were losses.

How much the loss will affect the Spurs overall is minimal. They do lose some depth at the shooting guard spot, but the Spurs are already the deepest team in the league, and Patty Mills is more than capable of filling Jackson's role offensively, if not defensively. Against the Thunder, the effect will remain to be seen. This season, he hasn't been much of a factor, other than chipping in a few points during the November win. And in any case, he wasn't much more effective at stopping Kevin Durant than any other defender has been. But when the Spurs are up against it, and need a veteran player to take advantage of Durant's fatigue, they may miss the complete bag of tricks that Stack Jack provides.

Do you think dropping Stephen Jackson will hurt the Spurs? Let us know in the poll and comments!