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Reggie Jackson deserves to be a starter but not with the Oklahoma City Thunder

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Reggie Jackson's contract status is up in the air and with it his role on the team. Is he suited for a starting role in the NBA?

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

At Oklahoma City Thunder's media day, Reggie Jackson stated how badly he wants to be a starter on the team after coming off the bench for 3 years with the Thunder.

"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."

Well, he deserves to be a starter, but not with the Thunder. Jackson is a pure natural point guard, and starting him in his natural spot is impossible as Russell Westbrook whom Scott Brooks described as the best point guard in the league, plays in that spot.

Sam Presti recently spoke to the media on how important defense is to the Thunder as it is one of the major reasons of the team's success, and it is going to continue to be one of their main priorities to rely on heading to the next season. That indicates that Presti supports Scott Brooks' defensive approach, which completely clears the opportunity for Jackson to play as a starter in the shooting guard position.

Here is the issue - the team already contains other natural shooting guard players who are filled with athleticism and offensive skills such as Jeremy Lamb and Anthony Morrow, which makes Jackson the least likely candidate to start in that spot. Even though, let us assume that Jackson played as a starter, he'll find a lot of difficulties to guard the opposing SG players and he is going to weaken the perimeter defense which will put the overall defense of the team in risk. We've witnessed that in 2014 Semi-conference finals against the Clippers in game 4 when Jackson barely had the ability to stop Jamal Crawford when they both matched up.


Jackson could start as a starter on the team but not in constant basis, only in games where the opponent contains a SG player that Jackson can guard. The downside is that will cause the bench to be weakened, and with a weak bench, the team will face numerous difficulties to win games and a championship. You rarely find teams that start two natural point guards together at the same time (Phoenix might be the exception), as it is an unstable decision. Any offensive gains might be offset in defensive loss, and as we saw vs the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, The Thunder had no bench to contend with the Spurs' fully loaded roster.

I know this is a sad fact for Jackson, but the best solution for him is to play as a sixth-man player for now and aim for the sixth-man player award, which will increase his value in the market like James Harden did three years ago. After that, he will be able to fulfill his dream when another team acquires him, and I predict he will play as a starter on that team.