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OKC Thunder: Reggie Jackson won't come cheap

Thunder guard can become a restricted free agent next summer. And as this year’s free-agent class has shown, players with his skills can command big money.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 10, 2014

— Follow the money.

Avery Bradley agreed to re-sign with Boston for $32 million over four years.

Kyle Lowry will remain with Toronto for $48 million over four years.

Chandler Parsons received a near max offer from Dallas.

Gordon Hayward got a max offer from Charlotte.

One look at the coin players are commanding on the free-agent market this summer should be enough to send a scare through all of Oklahoma.

It’s proof that Thunder guard Reggie Jackson won’t come cheap.

Jackson, of course, is now eligible for a contract extension. If the two sides don’t agree on a deal before the Oct. 31 deadline, Jackson will become a restricted free agent next summer. The Thunder would then have the opportunity to match any offer Jackson receives from another team.

Good luck with that.

Because by the looks of it, that deal will be hefty chunk of change.

Jackson plays the most pivotal position in basketball, and he’s getting better and better. A third of the league’s teams would love to get their hands on Jackson, and if they did, he’d be an immediate upgrade for most. He has prototypical size for his position and a wonderful mix of athleticism and versatility. And, at 24, Jackson’s future looks awfully bright.

The best thing the Thunder could do is lock up Jackson as soon as possible and never let him see the open market. Deep-pocketed teams such as Dallas, New York, Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers could all make a serious run at him next summer.

So why would Jackson re-sign now with the types of deals his peers are getting as well as the knowledge that others teams are in prime position to pursue him?

More and more, it looks like Jackson won’t.

Obtaining long-term security as early as possible is always a safe bet for players. But the safe bet might not be the right bet if it means millions of dollars are left at the negotiating table.

Bradley’s average $8 million deal figures to be starting point of negotiations between the Thunder and Jackson. Lowry’s average $12 million contract could represent the high end.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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