On Friday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks announced they “have requested waivers on’’ Pierre Jackson. The terminology is, as always on these matters, excessively balky, but it simply means Dallas cut Jackson, the 5-foot-10 point guard who had always torn up the D-League, most recently with the Mavs’ affiliate the Texas Legends.
So he’s out, eh?
Until he’s in again.
When Dallas brought up the Baylor product on December 27, he was given what was official termed a “two-year deal worth $1.2 million.’’
But in the NBA (this is where you have to have bothered with the memorization minutia of “Important NBA Dates’’), “guaranteed’’ contracts aren’t actually “guaranteed’’ unless the player remains with the team to January 10.
The Mavs parting ways with Jackson before Jan. 10 negates his two-year deal worth $1.2 million.’’
But … they still like Pierre?
Indeed. In the D-League, he was a proven and almost legendary scorer, this year averaging 29.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 35.7 minutes per game with the Legends. So the Mavs want to get to know him better, but not under the terms of long-term guaranteed money.
Instead, they will use another of the NBA’s semi-obscure “Important Dates’’ to reunite “almost immediately,’’ a source tells DallasBasketball.com, under the terms of what is called a “10-day contract.’’ The 10-day contract becomes a legal NBA ploy anytime after Jan. 5 (and here we are!) and, for future knowledge can only be used twice — that is, two 10-day contracts — by the same team on the same guy.
Dallas will quite possibly utilize this tool again before hooking up with Jackson all over again, watching to see if he can develop even more than he has so far, as he’s posted averages of three points on 21.4-percent shooting and 1.8 assists in seven minutes per game in Dallas.
Amid reports that Jackson will find his way back to the Texas Legends while he’s “free,’’ DB.com is told that’s not the primary plan at all, and that again, being a Mav almost “immediately.’’
Yeah, there is one more wrinkly “if’’ here: All the other NBA teams are doing the same financial roster juggling as Dallas is. The Mavs assume Pierre Jackson will be their choice for a rebound because they really do like him. But if another NBA team uses this “Important NBA Dates’’ to detach itself from a player superior in whatever way to Jackson?
Dallas is free to add that player to a 10-day contract or more.