Reggie Jackson, Enes Kanter involved in three-team deal
The Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to a three-team deal that will send Reggie Jackson to Detroit, Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City and Kendrick Perkins to Utah, the Thunder announced Thursday.
The Thunder also will receive Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin from the Pistons and Steve Novak from the Jazz, while the Jazz also will receive a protected first-round pick from the Thunder.
Jackson and Kanter are the biggest movers of the group, and both players requested trades from their former teams.
Kanter, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft, has seen his role diminish as backup Rudy Gobert has impressed coaches. Kanter’s frustation with his smaller role came to a head last week, when he did not play in the fourth quarter against the Mavericks. Afterward, he made it known that he wanted to be moved before the deadline.
Jackson also saw his role in Oklahoma City gradually diminish as this season wore on. He took over as starting point guard when Russell Westbrook missed extended time with a broken hand, and was the Thunder’s primary scorer with Kevin Durant also out with a foot injury.
In 13 starts, Jackson averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds. However, the undermanned Thunder went just 3-10 in that span.
Jackson, who will become a restricted free agent after this season, has been clear in his desire to become a full-time starter. But after Westbrook and Durant returned to the lineup, Jackson shifted back to the bench and his production dwindled.
Jackson’s playing time took another hit when the Thunder — who sit half a game back of the Suns for the West’s final playoff spot — acquired Dion Waiters in early January as part of a three-deal team with the Cavaliers and Knicks. Waiters has not been part of the Thunder’s starting lineup, but has largely taken over part of Jackson’s role as the team’s sixth man.
Waiters’ acquisition also put the Thunder over the luxury tax limit, sparking rumors that Jackson would be traded in order to move back below the threshold. Oklahoma City has been reluctant to pay the tax in the past, famously leading to its trade of James Harden, now a frontrunner for league MVP.
Jackson has hinted for months that he did not want the Thunder to match the offer sheets he receives this offseason in restricted free agency, but his intentions became even clearer when his agent reportedly requested on Tuesday that Oklahoma City trade him before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Jackson will step into the starting lineup for the Pistons, a spot previously filled by Augustin after the season-ending injury to Brandon Jennings.
In return for losing Jackson and Perkins, the Thunder received some much-needed bench depth. Augustin will step into Jackson’s spot as the backup point guard, Kyle Singler will act as a backup wing to Kevin Durant and Steve Novak is an accomplished shooter who likely will play limited minutes.
In order to make room for their new players, the Thunder reportedly sent guard Ish Smith to the Pelicans in a separate trade and waived forward Grant Jerrett.