One of the best things to come out of the Philadelphia 76ers’ 2014 offseason was the story of guard Pierre Jackson.
Drafted in 2013 by the Sixers out of Baylor with the 42nd overall pick, the 5-foot-11 Jackson was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night as part of the Nerlens Noel trade. A year later during the 2014 NBA Draft, Jackson returned to the Sixers as part of a trade with New Orleans that sent guard Russ Smith to the Pelicans.
Jackson impressed many with his play in the 2014 Las Vegas summer league before tearing his Achilles during the Orlando Pro Summer League on July 5. It effectively ended his season before it began but the Sixers showed a tremendous amount of class when they signed Jackson to a one-year, partially guaranteed deal for $400,000. The team eventually waived Jackson, but it was a nice gesture on the Sixers part and it turns out was not something Jackson forgot.
It’s now a year later. Jackson has spent the last year rehabbing and getting ready to return to a Sixers team in need of depth at point guard. He watched every Sixers game to try and get a handle on coach Brett Brown‘s system and is in great shape, spending hours in the gym improving his shooting.
And all the hard work has apparently has paid off. Jackson averaged 12 points, three rebounds and two assists in the two games he played in as part of the Las Vegas summer league and impressed the Sixers enough that Monday they signed him to a four-year, partially guaranteed contract.
Even though there was word other teams might have been interested in bringing Jackson on board, he didn’t forget what the Sixers did and instead signed with them.
The Jackson signing is keeping in line with Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s low risk/high reward way of doing things. Only the first two years of Jackson’s contract is guaranteed, so they have two seasons to see what he can do and then, if they don’t think he has what it takes, they can cut him loose.
Jackson is too small to ever be considered an elite point guard in the NBA, but he has skills from beyond the arc and has a natural ability that should make him a competent player off the bench behind Tony Wroten and Isaiah Canaan.
Pierre Jackson is getting a second chance at his dream and he seems more than ready to grab it and not let go.