Pierre Jackson's professional basketball career has gotten off to an interesting start to say the least.
After two impressive seasons at Baylor, the point guard decided that it was time to take his game to the next well, so, obviously, he declared for the 2013 NBA Draft. While touted as one of the most gifted scorers in his class, there was one major concern about Jackson's game: His height. Scouts expressed their concerns about his ability to finish in the paint at 5-foot-10, as well as guarding players at his own position. As a result, he slipped in the draft to the second round, where the Philadelphia 76ers took a chance on him with the 42nd overall pick.
It was here when some of the craziness started.
Immediately on draft night, the 76ers traded Jackson to the Pelicans in deal that brought Jrue Holiday to New Orleans. But after the Pelicans acquired Tyreke Evans a few weeks later, Jackson grew concerned of the Pelicans' crowded backcourt and decided to spend the season overseas with ASVEL Villeurbanne in France. However, it didn't take long for him to leave ASVEL, as he failed to suit up for even one game because, apparently, he was homesick.
Without many other options, Jackson declared for the D-League draft, where he was taken with the 5th overall pick by the Idaho Stampede.
Since then, the off-court madness has calmed down as Jackson has found himself a home in Idaho. And through four games, it's been a perfect fit, as he has been taking the league by storm with an average of 31.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game. The Stampede are also undefeated at 4-0, which, after winning just 19 games last season, is very promising. And on Friday night, Jackson had his most impressive performance of the young season, scoring 43 points on 15-for-25 shooting from the floor and 6-for-10 from three. Funny thing is, he could have flirted with the big 50 had he not missed six of his 13 free throw attempts. Nevertheless, it wasn't an issue, as the Stampede ruined the Springfield Armor's home opener, 117-107.
Unfortunately for 29 of the 30 NBA teams, Jackson is off the books. Despite leaving the Pelicans to go play overseas, they still hold his rights and are therefore the only team that can call him up. Obviously someone could acquire his rights by trading for him, which may be a smart thing to do for a team that is looking for a spark off the bench. In the same way that Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas have made themselves a nice role in this league, Jackson has the potential to be a high-energy bench player who can score in bunches at any point of the game. Sure, he's a slight liability defensively, but for 15-20 minutes a night, he could bring a whole lot of good to a team.
If you want to read more about Jackson's NBA potential, check out Dakota Schmidt's article. If not, enjoy the Pierre Jackson show below.