Aaron Jackson

Rockets Sign Pair, Waive Aaron Jackson

The Rockets have signed undrafted rookie Gary Clark and second-round pick Vince Edwards, the team announced in a press release. Shortly thereafter, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweeted that the franchise had parted ways with Aaron Jackson, whom they inked at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

Although terms of the signings have not yet been revealed, it was reported last month that the club had come to terms on a two-way deal with at least Clark. There’s no mention of a two-way contract in Houston’s announcement, so it’s possible Clark received a standard NBA contract, perhaps with an Exhibit 10 attachments. A team can convert an Exhibit 10 contract into to a two-way deal prior to the start of the regular season.

Clark, a renowned rebounding threat out of Cincinnati, spent four seasons with the Bearcats before going undrafted last month. Edwards, similarly, just played out his senior season with Purdue before Houston made him a second-round pick in June.

Jackson, the 32-year-old guard who played a single regular season game for the Rockets last April and played sparingly for the club in the postseason, is expected to pursue a new deal in China, perhaps returning to the Beijing Ducks, Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania reports. His salary for 2018/19 was non-guaranteed.

Rockets Exercise Team Option On Aaron Jackson

The Rockets have picked up their team option on Aaron Jackson, keeping him on the roster for now, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Jackson, 32, signed with the Rockets on the last day of the 2017/18 regular season and made his NBA debut in Houston’s regular-season finale. Jackson played 35 minutes in that contest, scoring eight points and grabbing three rebounds.

Although Jackson’s contract with the Rockets included a team option for 2018/19, his $1,378,242 salary remains non-guaranteed even now that the option has been exercised. Keeping the veteran guard around gives Houston a few more trade options — if the Rockets need to include him in a trade to match salaries, his salary would become guaranteed. Otherwise, he’ll likely be released at some point before the team is on the hook for his salary.

Because he can’t be traded within three months of his signing, Jackson will become trade-eligible after July 11.

While it’s not clear while Jackson will ultimately spend next season, a return to the EuroLeague seems unlikely. Jackson, who spent several seasons with CSKA Moscow, tweeted this week that he doesn’t have interest in returning to Europe due to the “10-month season” there (hat tip to Sportando).

Rockets Sign Aaron Jackson, Cut Tim Quarterman

8:34pm: The moves are official, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston.

7:18pm: The Rockets plan to sign guard Aaron Jackson for the remainder of the season, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Jackson just recently finished his season as a member of the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Jackson, 31, graduated from Duquesne in 2009, leaving as the school’s all-time leader in games played, third all-time in assists, and sixth all-time in steals. He was a member of CSKA Moscow in Russia from 2012 to 2017, winning a EuroLeague title in 2016.

Because Houston already has a full 15-man roster, the team plans to release recently signed guard Tim Quarterman in order to make room for Jackson, Charania adds.

Quarterman was signed on March 30 to a two-year deal, but next season’s contract was reportedly non-guaranteed. Quarterman should earn a little over $96K for his brief stint in Houston.

Marcus Thornton Set To Play In China

Veteran NBA guard Marcus Thornton is headed overseas, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter links), who reports that Thornton will sign with the Beijing Ducks in China. He’ll replace Aaron Jackson, who is out for the rest of the CBA season with an injured collarbone.

Thornton had been playing for the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s G League affiliate, averaging 18.9 PPG in just 24.6 MPG in 15 contests, with a shooting line of .500/.392/.833. The eight-year NBA veteran was likely hoping that his solid G League stint would result in a call-up to an NBA club. Still, he’ll have the opportunity to return stateside before season’s end, since the CBA year ends before the NBA’s. The CBA regular season ends next week, with the playoffs beginning shortly thereafter.

Thornton, 30, has played in 483 NBA regular season games since the start of the 2009/10 season, spending time with seven NBA teams over the course of his professional career. Most recently, the LSU alum averaged 6.6 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 33 contests for the Wizards in 2016/17. Although he worked out for the Timberwolves in the offseason, he was unable to land an NBA contract.

This Marcus Thornton should not be confused with the Marcus Thornton who was selected 45th overall in the 2015 draft by the Celtics — that former William & Mary guard, who has not appeared in an NBA regular season game, is currently playing for the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate.

And-Ones: Udoh, Competitive Balance, Fegan, Barry

Milos Teodosic (CSKA), Ekpe Udoh (Fenerbahce), and Aaron Jackson (CSKA) are among the Euroleague Final Four participants who expect to receive NBA interest and could pursue opportunities stateside this offseason, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).

Teodosic has been mentioned throughout the year as a Euroleague star who expects to make the leap to the NBA for 2017/18, but Udoh is another interesting name. A former sixth overall pick, Udoh struggled during his initial five-year stint in the NBA, but has blossomed into a more effective player in Turkey, averaging 12.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in 31 Euroleague contests in 2016/17. Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress took a closer look at Udoh’s game and his stock after his MVP performance at the Euroleague Final Four.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • In an interesting piece for SI.com, Lee Jenkins examines how last summer’s salary cap spike affected the NBA’s desire for competitive balance. “We were all thrilled at first,” one GM said. “It’s like if somebody gives you a $20 bill. That’s great, right? You can go into the free-agent market and bid on players you wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. And then you realize, Wait a minute, everybody else got this $20 bill too. So while I might be able to use my $20 bill on Ian Mahinmi or Chandler Parsons or Evan f—— Turner, the best team in the league, the team that went 73–9, the team that can guarantee multiple championships, they can use their $20 bill on Kevin Durant. The spike took average teams and made them marginally better. It took one great team and made them historic.”
  • Despite the Warriors‘ and Cavaliers‘ recent dominance, commissioner Adam Silver isn’t concerned about the NBA becoming a two-team league, and says both squads have a long ways to go before they can legitimately be considered dynasties. ESPN.com passes along Silver’s quotes on that subject, along with his thoughts on Lonzo Ball‘s father, LaVar Ball.
  • Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal provides an update on the legal battle between longtime NBA agent Dan Fegan and his former employer, Independent Sports & Entertainment. According to Mullen, a federal judge denied Fegan’s motion to dismiss ISE’s case against him, sending it back to state court. Fegan has been accused of operating a side business when he worked for ISE.
  • Former Florida guard Canyon Barry comes from a prolific basketball family, but if he’s not able to make it to the NBA, Barry has a pretty solid backup plan, which involves finishing his master’s degree in nuclear engineering. Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, who notes that Barry worked out for the Knicks on Tuesday, spoke to the young prospect about his NBA aspirations.

Pacers, Bulls, Mavs, Magic Eye Aaron Jackson

JUNE 19TH, 7:56am: The deal between Jackson and CSKA Moscow is official, the team announced (Twitter link). It’s a two-year arrangement, and while it’s unclear whether an NBA out exists, it wouldn’t appear as though he’s returning stateside anytime soon.

JUNE 16TH, 12:44pm: Jackson is set to re-sign with CSKA Moscow, as David Pick of Eurobasket.com hears (Twitter link). That would seemingly put the NBA on hold for now.

2:47pm: The Bulls, Mavericks and Magic have also registered some level of interest in Jackson, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter link).

JUNE 12TH, 1:04pm: The Pacers are interested in point guard Aaron Jackson, who plays for Russia’s CSKA Moscow, report Chema De Lucas of Gigantes del Basket (translation via HoopsHype). At least three NBA teams are eyeing Jackson, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, adding that the 29-year-old who played collegiately at Duquesne will explore his possibilities to return to North America as a free agent this summer.

Jackson posted 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 1.1 turnovers in 22.1 minutes per game for his Russian team this season, his third year with CSKA Moscow. He’s played overseas each season since going undrafted in 2009, making stops in Spain and Italy before heading to Russia, though he was with the Pacers for summer league in 2009. The Cavs had him for summer league the next year.

Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird expressed pessimism that his team would retain backup point guard C.J. Watson in free agency this summer, so it makes sense that Indiana would be in the market for a replacement. Still, the Pacers would likely be bereft of cap room if Roy Hibbert and David West opt in, as I noted when I examined the offseason ahead for the team, so Indiana will probably focus on point guards who might come cheaply.