The Mavs signed D-League player Pierre Jackson yesterday, who played his first minutes as a Maverick last night in a loss against Houston. We reached out to Chris Reichert (Associate Editor of The Step Back), who mainly covers the NBA D-League along with other prospects, to ask about what Mavericks fans could expect to see from their newest player.
What kind of role do you see Jackson eventually playing with the Mavs?
I really hope he’s able to get minutes. He can be an effective scoring option off the bench, especially since the Mavericks are pick-and-roll heavy and that’s what he’s been running with the Texas Legends as well.
What should we be most excited about?
Jackson is instant energy; he’s a firecracker who can ignite a second (or third) unit if need be. He’s going to score and he’s going to be in attack mode 100 percent of the time.
Why hasn't Jackson been signed by another team yet?
Every roster is full right now, so like the Mavericks, if a team wants to sign someone from the D-League they have to waive one of their own. Jackson has only played 10 games in the D-League since returning from Europe but he’s been lights out in that span. It’s a small sample size, but he’s clearly 100 percent healthy and ready to contribute at the NBA level.
Jackson is listed at 5'11". How is he defensively? Does he make up for his lack of height?
He’s not a plus defender, however he doesn’t kill a team on that end either. He’s diminutive and that could hurt at the NBA level, but Pierre is feisty and pest-like so don’t expect him to simply roll over because he’s smaller than others.
The Mavs run a lot of pick and rolls with their guards. How has Jackson looked running those sets?
Pierre is a pick-and-roll dynamo. I actually compared him to Isaiah Thomas in that light just last week. He’s best attacking the rim off the pick-and-roll, but he’s also shown the ability to hit the pull up jumper or knock down the 3, if a defender dares to go under the screener.
What is one thing you'd like to see him work on to make sure he sticks with the Mavs and in the league?
Like most players, he has to develop better defensive habit and tendencies. He’s always going to be small, but that alone doesn’t make him a bad defender, so creating better awareness on that end of the floor will help extend his NBA career.