Debuting a new feature here. The Warriors are going to take inventory this offseason, see what moves they need to make and how they can get better. Over the next few weeks, we are going to do some evaluating ourselves. Here is your chance to give them your opinion (yes, they do read this blog). I will make the best case I can as to why a player should stay or go this offseason. Then you sound off.
Who better to start with than Stephen Jackson.
THE CASE FOR STEPHEN JACKSON TO STAY
Because the Warriors need a guy who averages 21.1 points, 6.4 assists and 4.9 rebounds. Nellie’s offense especially needs someone who can put points on the board in a variety of ways.
Jackson has become a reliable scorer, and he’s even better when he doesn’t have to be the do-it-all playmaker. Even his 3.8 turnovers are tolerable considering how many minutes he plays. Fewer than one turnover ever 10 minutes. It’s easy to swallow that in exchange for someone who can defend and who can make a tough shot in the clutch.
If the Warriors can land an A-list player, someone who commands double teams, especially if that player is a big man, Jackson would be even better for Golden State. He certainly would be much more efficient. Instead of getting rid of your top player again, learn from the past and get him help. Why have an experience, productive player in your grasp and let him go for more potential?
THE CASE FOR STEPHEN JACKSON TO GO
His technical fouls, propensity for turnovers and forced shots aside, Jackson should go because he is more valuable to the Warriors as a trade commodity than on the court. While he is passionate and a good teammate, he probably won’t be winning around here for a long time. The Warriors may be better off grooming the small forward of the future, whether that is Kelenna Azubuike or Anthony Randolph.
Plus, the way Jackson plays is not the best example for the younger players. His shot selection, risky passes, arguing with the referees, that’s not what impressionable young minds like Randolph and Morrow need to see from their team leader. That stuff flies on a veteran team with guys who aren’t necessarily looking to Jack to learn how to play the game. But if the Warriors are staking the franchise on their young talent, it’s best to teach them how to play the game. They need to proper coaching and proper example on the court.
You may think Jackson is nearly impossible to move because of the extension the Warriors gave him. I don’t think so. It would be hard, no doubt. But four years at about $9 million per is not so daunting. With the numbers he is putting up, a good team in need of a productive veteran might be willing to take him off the Warriors hands. New Orleans could use him desperately. So could Dallas. So could San Antonio and Houston. He would fit in Cleveland, but they gave Delonte West a bunch of money already (imagine a perimeter of Mo Williams, Jax and LeBron). Another place Jax would fit: the Lakers. He would be a significant upgrade over Luke Walton, the current starting SF. Of course, the Warriors probably wouldn’t trade him to L.A.
The point is, the Warriors should be able to convince a good team to take on the money. And the Warriors would have an easier time moving him now, get more back for him now, than they would when he has one or two years left on his deal.
So, which side do you fall on?