Eastern Rumors: Jackson, Knicks, Smith

Reggie Jackson shakes off skepticism about the contract he agreed to with the Pistons and believes he’ll prove to be a bargain, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports. Jackson will become the highest-paid player in team history when he signs the five-year, $80MM contract that was hammered out on Sunday night. He was a backup behind Russell Westbrook with the Thunder until the Pistons acquired him as their starting floor leader at the trade deadline. “It’s a small sample size; I understand people see the small size and all that,” Jackson said to Ellis. “A lot of these players getting deals have been starters their whole career and are hitting game-winning shots and other things like that. In about two or three years I hope everybody says Reggie Jackson is underpaid.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Knicks may offer their $2.814MM room exception for teams under the cap to Alexey Shved, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. According to the source, Shved, who played 16 games with the Knicks last season, has two other NBA teams interested as well a handful of European offers, a source told Berman. Veterans Caron Butler and Willie Green are two other players that the club is considering with its room exception, Berman adds.
  • J.R. Smith wants a three-year commitment from the team on his next deal, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Haynes seconds the notion that Smith is unlikely to end up re-signing with the Cavs, as it seems like Cleveland doesn’t want to invest long-term in him. The Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto wrote earlier that Smith “pretty much signed his exit papers” from Cleveland when he opted out. But Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets that the team has not abandoned its pursuit of Smith and desires to keep the 2014/15 core intact.
  • Bucks coach Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond denied a report that Kidd would take over the team’s operations, Tamira Madsen of the Associated Press reports. The report from onmilwaukee.com also claimed Hammond would be reassigned within the Bucks organization or possibly leave the team but Kidd told the AP that was false. “There is no friction, there is no announcement,” Kidd said.
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