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Examining the Curious Case of Idaho Stampede Guard Pierre Jackson

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Pierre Jackson is quickly emerging as a likely M.V.P. candidate for the undefeated Idaho Stampede, but his potential path to the NBA is a trickier one than that of most others.

Cooper Neill

Following a nice collegiate career at Baylor, Pierre Jackson has since gone on to tear up the NBA D-League. Averaging just under 31 points through eight contests (on 46% from the field and 43% from deep), to go along with 5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and an even more impressive 2.4 steals, the Idaho Stampede guard has appeared rather dominant all season long.

Having helped lead the way for Idaho through an 8-0 start thus far, the team remains standing as the lone undefeated squad in the NBA D-League. That's pretty impressive, and quite the change in culture for a group that won just nineteen games all season long last year.

And Jackson's largely in part to thank for his team's success up to this point. He's a proven winner, and is fresh off winning consecutive NBADL Player of the Week awards. What's more, just this past Saturday, the 22 year old poured in a league season-high 49 points in his team's latest victory.

Simply put, the 5'11", 176 pounder is just a little fireball of endless fun and excitement. He's a player quite unlike any other that has graced the D-League hardwood in recent years.

One would have to think a young gun displaying such dominance on the minor league hardwood would catch the attention of an NBA executive or two rather quickly, and receive a subsequent call-up shortly after that. But for Jackson, breaking into The Association this season may prove to be a bit trickier for him than most others.

This past summer, Jackson was drafted as the 42nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Though his rights were soon after traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, Jackson never went on to sign a contract with the team for the coming (this) season. Instead, he participated in NBA Summer League with New Orleans, and then signed a contract to play overseas.

But instead of going on to play in France, Jackson returned home. Soon after, he was drafted in the first round of the D-League Draft by the Stampede, and the rest is history, as they say.

What all this means or amounts to, however, is that Jackson can only be called up by the Pelicans this season. With the likes of Jrue Holiday, Brian Roberts, and even sixth man Tyreke Evans manning the point guard position in New Orleans, such a promotion wouldn't appear to be in the cards for Jackson.

Of course, that's obviously to no credit of his own, but rather simply the circumstances currently at hand. Jackson's been playing phenomenally well, and is proving he has what it takes to compete at the pro level, should his skills seamlessly translate. Though there may not be too many minutes to go around in New Orleans, a bevy of NBA teams are in need of floor general help. Jackson's energy and prowess on both ends of the floor could certainly provide that necessary boost for any number of different squads.

The Pelicans' plan for Jackson (if they have a long-term one) is unknown to us, but if one thing is for sure, it's that the instant spark plug could be an interesting and valuable trading commodity. That said, because the guard has no NBA level salary, swapping him for something of worthwhile value could be tricky.

Still, future considerations for Jackson should always be attainable. Though the Baylor product was a second round pick this past year, the way he's been playing as of late should be enough to propel him into consideration for opposing teams to offer a future first round pick for his rights.

It comes down to comparing Jackson to the other players available through some of the forthcoming drafts. If his recent play in the D-League is any indication, the young gun probably stacks up pretty favorably. With that in mind, offering future picks, cash considerations, and/or including his rights in a swap for other salaried players are all ways opposing teams could entice the Pelicans with an offer good enough to acquire Jackson's services.

But for now, the fireball will continue to explode onto the D-League hardwood and dominate with ease while leading Idaho towards quite the turnaround of a season.