The Thunder would prefer to lock up Jackson this offseason, but that’s not likely. It’s possible that Jackson plays for a contract in each of the next two seasons in Oklahoma City, which generally motivates a guy rather well, although if Jackson already wasn’t given his full focus and energy, Presti misread that DNA.
Jackson averaged 13.1 points per game, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists with the Thunder last season. Although his numbers might not be that big, he did a tremendous job filling Westbrook's absence when he was injured, and backed up the team as a successful sixth-man player in the regular season and in the playoffs. He rapidly since joining the Thunder as a late 1st round pick. His shooting improved to 44% from the field, and 34% from the 3-point line in the last season. Despite his size, he can also play as a shooting guard and we've witnessed this in the 2014 Western conference finals against the Spurs when Sefolosha was on the bench.
Jackson is the type of player will potentially have some sort of value in the market, asCBS Sports' Matt Moore writes:
The Thunder need a legitimate two-guard to spread the floor and help out defensively; free-agent signee Anthony Morrow is unlikely to be that guy as he's traditionally been a bench shooter.
Jackson honestly might have more value on the trade market, which might provide the Thunder an opportunity to bring in some quality depth along with a viable two-guard. Jackson's proven he can be a legitimate starting point guard, and if a team believes in his long-term development, they might be willing to give up short-term assets for him.
If the Thunder don't lock up Jackson now, they enter next off-season running the risk of another team offering him an oversized contract that they cannot match. Will he be worth investing in for the long term if that happens?