Welp: Spurs waive Stephen Jackson

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In what can only be described the most surprising news of the season, the San Antonio Spurs placed forward Stephen Jackson on waivers with just four games remaining in the regular season. Art Garcia of Fox Sports Southwest was the first to report the news on Twitter this afternoon.

Matt Tynan and I watched the Spurs’ loss to the Nuggets together in San Marcos on Wednesday night, and he mentioned seeing something on Twitter about Jack being involved in some sort of a blowout, but it was random and nothing had been reported by the big guys (Express-News, ESPN, etc). So at the time it was just a bit of randomness in the ether.

No longer.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that indeed there was some sort of blowup between Jack and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich this week, though it’s something that has been brewing for some time. Either way, making this move now speaks as to how dire the situation was in the eyes of the Spurs’ brass.

I’m sure we’ll get some sort of statement from Coach Pop when he has his typical pregame presser at 6:15 CT, so we’ll have a little more about this before tip-off. For now, let’s talk about the bind this puts the Spurs in.

Jack wasn’t exactly having the best of seasons. He’s been injured off and on throughout most of the year, most recently missing some time with a sprained ankle. Jack was only shooting 27 percent from the 3-point line this season as well, which is typically his main offensive responsibility on these Spurs. Looking at it that way, you could assume that this might not be that big of a deal.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to be the case. Despite his poor shooting this season, Jack has a penchant for knocking down the big shots; take Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, for example. Outside of Kawhi Leonard, Jack is also the Spurs’ best defender to throw at Kevin Durant should the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder meet up again in the playoffs. Jack is consistently physical on the perimeter when defending elite wings, something that goes over a lot better in the playoffs than in the regular season.

With less than a week left in the regular season, the San Antonio will be hard pressed to find a capable replacement for Jackson as the backup small forward. His minutes likely would’ve diminished in the playoffs anyway, as Kawhi Leonard looks able to play 40+ minutes most nights when the postseason starts. But foul trouble and other breaks of the game, including news that Boris Diaw had surgery to remove a synovial cyst excised from his lumbar spine and will miss three-to-four weeks, will have a lot to say about that. Bringing in outside help, other than possibly someone from the Austin Toros who is vaguely familiar with the Spurs’ system, probably isn’t going to happen.

Get ready for a lot of [pick your point guard]-Gary Neal-Danny Green lineups, you guys.

  • http://twitter.com/micahgalindo micah galindo

    ugh… not fond of the De Colo, Neal, Green backcourt :-/… I hope Manu comes back whole

  • jamberg

    I’m already throwing up over the CoJo/Neal/Green lineup that’s going to happen in round one at some point.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Wow! I don’t think this is what Pop meant by “nasty!”

    It was always going to be about Kawhi and (please God) Manu but still this is a tough blow to take. I hope that no one in the West picks him up. Could we end up facing him this post season???

  • Jelli

    Damn. If he was such a detriment, then they’re right in releasing him. We’ve just gotta trust in Pop. Who are they going to replace him with? Does this mean Manu is closer to returning; or is it nothing more than releasing a player who clearly wasn’t happy?

  • Rey

    Is Josh Howard available after he was waived from the Timberwolves? I think he could be a decent pick if necessary..

  • td4life

    This season has taken a crap. I really hate this. We absolutely needed this guy’s defense. After losing Boris we also needed him for smallball depth, and as you said, as a guy capable of stepping up in the playoffs.

    Were back to Bonner and Blair and crappy depth.

    That 2012 pick that became Festus Ezeli looks like a mistake right now.

  • sculderx

    @2123ee6b418d3b37b78b89ac566051f0:disqus We won’t face Jax in the postseason — he was waived after March 1, which means he is ineligible for the playoffs. Still, this is crappy news. We need his ‘nasty.’

  • sculderx

    Crap…I mean Vermont Spurs Fan. Sorry.

  • Keith

    Anybody picked up through free agency can’t play in playoffs. March 1st rule.

  • rj

    too bad we will be playing against james anderson in the 1st round…or not. he won’t play,

  • Daniel

    Wow. Way to go Pop. Hope you got your money’s worth on that screw you to Stephen Jackson cuz you more than likely got us sent home in 10-11 games in the post season.

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  • http://twitter.com/vara411 Dan Ramirez

    Haven’t heard enough folks come down hard enough on Danny Green this year. His efficiency is down and I just don’t see that he feels comfortable out there. IMO he’s been a liability. … (sigh) … All told it looks like we don’t have much of a shot at making this any different than a “typical Spurs year.” :(

  • Titletown99030507d

    You Got That Right. Pop Is An Idiot..

  • assistman

    He believes too much in his system, when what we really need is talent. Jackson is one of too few 2-way players we have -er, had -and he had size and confidence which we also lack. I agree with SJ, he SHOULD have had a bigger role. He’s worth two Danny Greens,who is another player he needs minutes to get his rythem. Oh, well… second round out.

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  • junierizzle

    I think this move is more about Leonard playing more. Jack probably wouldn’t have played much had they kept him anyway.

  • Bob

    You still need depth. The move is absolutely stupid. Jackson is probably the difference between being competitive with OKC in the WCF and being swept.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    I haven’t seen anyone respond to Jack saying he’s better than someone else that’s getting more playing time….does he mean Green? http://instagram.com/p/YBdGl5xf9V/# Kinda bummed, Spurs have lost most of their nasty in one move.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    think SJ was pissed because of Green’s playing time and his lack thereof?