When Pierre Jackson suits up for the Stampede this season, it won’t be the first time that Jackson has played basketball in the state of Idaho. Jackson spent two years at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho prior to his stint at Baylor, and led CSI to a national championship in 2010-2011, and won national tournament MVP honors. With a second trip to Idaho on the horizon, what sort of impact will Jackson have at the NBA D-League level in the Gem state?
The Stampede drafted Jackson with the fourth overall selection in this year’s NBADL draft, and in a statement to DleagueDigest.com, Stampede head coach Mike Peck discussed the draft room’s feeling when the 5-10, 180-pound point guard was still on the board this past Friday night.
“We were very pleased to get a player of Pierre’s caliber and background at #4. We are excited and anxious to work with him this season. Again, with all of our players, our goal is to help in the development process and to compete every day.” Peck said.
Jackson will certainly provide plenty of spark for Peck and the Stampede to start the season. As the Stampede’s current training camp roster stands, it appears Peck and his staff will look to go a bit smaller, and utilize their speed. Without a player over 6-8, and Jackson likely running the show alongside Dee Bost, Idaho could be a perfect fit for Jackson’s game.
However, if Jackson does indeed shine as a member of the Idaho Stampede, the Portland Trail Blazers (Idaho’s NBADL affiliate) will not be able to Call-Up Jackson, as his player rights are currently owned by New Orleans. That’s not to say that Portland wouldn’t seek a trade involving Jackson’s rights, if they have a high-level of interest in him, but it does lend itself to the possibility of Jackson being Called-Up by the Pelicans, and away from Idaho at some point.
That being said, after the Stampede posted a 19-31 record last season, and missed out on the playoffs for a fourth straight season, the mentality on draft night this past Friday may have been to grab a player that will ultimately help them win games. Jackson fits this description, and was one of the better talents in the entire NBADL draft.
Idaho’s backcourt situation looks impressive to start the season. In addition to Jackson, Portland Trail Blazer affiliate player Dee Bost will help Peck search for wins as well as Reggie Hamilton. Hamilton spent the latter part of the 2012-2013 season with Idaho, and closed out the season with an impressive 28-point effort and a win against the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
In the end, Jackson’s forthcoming encore in Idaho will surely help the feisty guard develop his game even further. The nature of the NBA D-League is all about change, and being able to react to the unique fluidity found in the league, so if Jackson’s time is indeed short in Idaho, it will still have a large impact for both Jackson, and the Stampede this season. Stay tuned.