ESPN: Stephen Jackson Interested In Playing In New Jersey Alongside Dwight Howard

According to ESPN's Ric Bucher, Stephen Jackson may not be so content on the Bucks, and may be looking for greener (?) pastures:

If they [Nets] want to improve their chances, my understanding is that Stephen Jackson & Dwight Howard have talked several times about playing together. And would love to do so with the Nets with Deron Williams at the point guard setting them up. If the Nets want to improve their chances of getting Dwight Howard, making a deal for Stephen Jackson as well should be on their menu.

Uh-Oh?

Jackson, like his predecessor Corey Maggette, has been clouded by suspicion over his relationship with the coaching staff and how well he fits in with Scott Skiles' system. Needless to say, Jackson has had an up and (mostly) down year, having been suspended once for missing practice and by the NBA last weekend for butting heads with officials after Friday night's loss in Chicago. Then again, this has been a recurring theme throughout Jackson's career, so the Bucks can't say they didn't have any warnings. Whether the rumors of his transfer to the East Coast had anything to do with his lack of playing time against the Pistons is anyone's guess, but at the very least it's a curious coincidence.


It seems somewhat like a foregone conclusion that Howard will be wearing a different uniform sometime in the near future, so how far the Nets will be willing (and able) to go to appease Howard will likely play a factor in whether or not the Bucks make a deal or not. The Bucks have been anything but predictable, with Jackson a major contributor in the unpredictability department. As a result, it didn't come as a complete shock to see Steve Kyler suggest on Monday that the Bucks' patience is wearing thin with the well-traveled former Oak Hill standout.

Jacksons has shot a well-below-average 36% from the field 47% TS%, notably even short of even Brandon Jennings' first season in the league. It hasn't helped that while on the court he's used up approximately 22% of the Buck posessions, not a high for him but not all too impressive considering his production. Despite his struggles, Bucks fans have seen flashes of what they might have hoped for, including a season high 34 points against San Antonio and 20 against Houston, but he's remained inconsistent with notable differences between his home and away performances. At home, he has averaged 14 points on a tolerable 43% shooting, including roughly 33% from 3 point range. On the road, his play has taken a dive-- averaging 12 points on 33% shooting, 27% from the three.

Nevertheless, the team has not exactly struggled in Jackson's absence, going 3-0 against the Knicks, Lakers, and now Pistons without him. It's probably a stretch to say that those wins wouldn't have happened with Jackson, but there's no doubt that the Bucks have other options at the wings with Delfino, Dunleavy and Livingston, with some minutes to spare for rookie Tobias Harris. It's also a matter of salary, as Jackson is owed aroud 19 million through the 2012/2013 season, a serious chunk of change for a team that's still not sure what direction it really wants to head in, and not exactly likely to contend soon.

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