Sometimes decisions that you think are for the best actually turn out to hinder your progress as time passes. Is this the case with Pierre Jackson and the New Orleans Pelicans? I’m not sure, but it seems to be plausible.
Pierre was drafted No. 42 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and was included in the deal that netted the Pelicans Jrue Holiday and sent Nerlens Noel and a top-five protected first-round pick in 2014 to the Sixers as well.
Rather than signing with the Pelicans, Pierre opted to sign a deal with French team ASVEL Villeurbanne since the Pelicans had a surplus of guards at their disposal (Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Brian Roberts). Did this decision ultimately hurt Pierre’s chances at his current goal of an NBA call-up with the Pellies? Maybe.
Jackson never played one minute for ASVEL, instead opting to stay closer to home and play his way to the NBA via the D-League. Another quirk to this situation is Jackson’s rights are owned by the Pelicans, yet he doesn’t even play for their D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy. Since Jackson isn’t under contract with them, he entered the D-League draft and was selected by the Idaho Stampede.
Since being in Idaho, Jackson has set the D-League on fire with his scoring ability and leads the league in scoring at a robust 29.2 points per night. He has played in 20 games total (started 16) and also rebounds decently for a guard at 3.6 per game and averages 5.3 assists per night. He can definitely be out of control at times and is currently turning the ball over 3.9 times a night.
As you can see, Jackson has been spectacular during his D-League stint and many believe he warrants a call-up. It has become a topic of debate among the blogosphere and some have even clamored via Twitter wondering what’s taking the Pelicans so long to call him up.
WHY ARE THE PELICANS BRINGING IN ANOTHER POINT GUARD WHEN PIERRE JACKSON IS RIGHT THERE FOR A CALL-UP?!?!?!?!?!
— The Traveling Crab (@crabdribbles) January 18, 2014
To make matters worse the Pelicans went out and acquired a different point guard to help with the load while Jrue Holiday recovers from a leg injury (out indefinitely with fractured tibia). In the deal made final Tuesday morning the Pelicans receive Tyshawn Taylor and send cash and the draft rights to Edin Bavcic (56th overall pick in 2006 by the Toronto Raptors) to the Brooklyn Nets.
As you can imagine this didn’t sit well with Pierre and he made his thoughts known via Twitter
— Pierre Jackson (@PierreJackson55) January 18, 2014
To be fair, Taylor has NBA experience under his belt (albeit limited and unsuccessful) and his D-League numbers were impressive as well. Last season the Nets sent him down for eight games and Taylor put up 24.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists and a hefty 4.8 turnovers a night.
Speculation is running wild as to why Pierre Jackson isn’t being given what would seem to be a fair shake with the Pelicans; and for whatever reason they seem to have already decided that he isn’t in the immediate plans for their franchise. Pierre’s agent put in a formal trade request with the New Orleans Pelicans last week and until that time Pierre will continue to dominate the competition in the D-League.
My hope is that Pierre might be packaged with Tyreke Evans or Eric Gordon, both of whom are rumored to be on the trade block, or included in another deal so that we can see him play this season in the NBA. Don’t let his diminutive stature fool you – Jackson plays the part well and looks to be an NBA talent for years to come.
**You can contact Chris regarding this article or anything basketball related on Twitter: @Chris_Reichert