This season wasn’t easy for Clippers guard Reggie Jackson, but it was ultimately rewarding, writes Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. From inconsistent early-season minutes to averaging over 20 PPG in the Western Conference Finals as one of the few sources of consistent offense next to Paul George, Jackson was able to find his footing, first on the court, and second with the team.
“This year was my best year, the most challenging year, the most fun year,” Jackson said. “Not sure I was going to play. Ups and downs. Guys were injured. Still found my way into this locker room. First thing I told these guys was, ‘Thank you for saving me.’”
What comes next for Jackson, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is still unclear, but he seems set up for a solid payday after his successful postseason run.
We have more on the Clippers:
- According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, DeMarcus Cousins regularly asks himself, “Do you still want to play in the NBA?” After battling injuries the last couple years, Cousins has had to fight for a spot on a team multiple teams. “That goes through my mind probably once every other day,” Cousins said. “This s–t is hard, bro. It’s hard knowing what you can do. It’s hard believing in yourself when nobody else believes in you.” After going from max contracts to veteran minimums, the journey hasn’t been easy, but Cousins believes he can still play in the NBA going forward.
- It’s hard for Paul George to not think about what could have been if Kawhi Leonard didn’t get injured, writes ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, especially when the Clippers lost Games Two and Four by a combined five points. “We’d be going on,” George said. “This series would be a lot different.” George was also honest about the team not doing enough in Leonard’s absence, and confident about his partnership with Kawhi moving forward. “I think we’ve both grown, myself and Kawhi together,” George said. “I think we really enjoy being teammates, and we see what we can be and what we can do.”
- George plans to be active recruiting players this summer, as well as trying to keep this year’s team together, writes Jim Alexander of The OC Register. “Hopefully this is where they want to continue to play and grow and be something and do something special in the long run,” he said. “Yeah, I’m definitely going to try my hardest to recruit.”
- ESPN’s Bobby Marks lays out the offseason blueprint for the Clippers. He looks at Leonard’s free agency, including the risks of signing the All-NBA forward to a long-term deal, as well as what the team can offer free agents Jackson and Nicolas Batum.