Golden State coach Mark Jackson now has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract. Wednesday, the Warriors picked up the team option it had on the last of his four-year.
Prior to today’s move, Jackson had only this season guaranteed, which made him a virtual lame duck. By guaranteeing his contract for the 2014-15 season, Jackson gets some security and Golden State’s front office gets another year to evaluate Jackson.
Jackson’s team finished 2011-12, his first as a head coach on any level, with a 23-43 record. That season was still considered a relative success since, after management traded away the Warriors’ best player at the time, the Jackson’s patchwork roster showed some resilience down the stretch. His second season, armed with a dramatically upgraded roster, saw marked improvement. Jackson led the Warriors to a 47-35 record and the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2007. Only the Brooklyn Nets had a better improvement than Golden State.
Then in the postseason, the Warriors upset Denver in the first round before taking San Antonio to six games. This was despite point guard Stephen Curry and center Andrew Bogut battling injuries, and having to rely on three rookies in the regular rotation.
That run gave Jackson credibility as a head coach and earned him another guaranteed year on his contract. Now, Jackson has a new challenge of coaching a team with expectations. Success this season would likely lead to a contract extension next offseason.