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Will not starting Jackson hurt OKC's chances of keeping him?

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Reggie Jackson wants to start. Will OKC fill his request in order to secure him for future years?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Reggie Jackson is like a testy teacher.  You may not agree with his philosophies and rules, but you follow them anyway to get on his good side.

After years of coming off the bench for the Thunder, Jackson showed how important starting was to him.  As flocks of questions were thrown his way, Reggie referred back to his childhood by saying that starting was his lifelong dream.  Now with the starting shooting guard spot wide open, Jackson finally has his shot at achieving his childhood dream.

"Once again, when I was growing up, just believing, I wanted the majority of my time to be spent playing against other starters. Maybe not now because everybody is good, but growing up I just felt like it was a cop-out. I wanted to play against the best. I wanted to play against Chris Paul, I wanted to play against Kyrie Irving, I wanted to be considered playing against those guys. I wanted to be mentioned in the highest of levels. I want the chance to go out and play and be the best I can be and be considered among the best. I want to be the best, but at least be in the category."

Reggie is a point guard by nature, so starting him alongside Westbrook would be a bit redundant.  OKC is better off starting a true SG.  Jackson is better as a spark plug anyway. But after the years of being a six-man, Jackson has shown that he really wants to start.

The restricted free agency dilemma

Restricted free agency is a difficult concept.  Unlike unrestricted free agency, if a team wants to keep a certain player, they have the ability to match another team's offer within a short amount of time.  Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward signed enormous contracts this season off of being RFA.  But Reggie's situation is a lot like Eric Bledsoe's.  If Reggie and OKC do not agree on an extension by October 31, he will play out the rest of his $2.2 million dollar annual salary and then will become a restricted free agent.  That is the road the Thunder want to avoid because (a) they do not want to potentially lose him and (b) they will be forced to pay a lot of money to match an offer.

This brings up the question: if keeping Jackson on the bench makes him disgruntled, will that make him want a new team?  He can realize that he will make a lot of money and potentially start on a new team if he becomes a RFA.

Is it worth starting him at shooting guard to make him happy?  Will Reggie Jackson be a Thunder by 2015-2016.?

Let us know in the comments!