The Golden State Warriors have been publicly shopping Stephen Jackson for weeks now, and until this morning, most league sources would have predicted he would end up in Cleveland. So just how close to Stephen Jackson come to joining forces with Shaq and King James?
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Brian Windhorst elaborates:
According to some league sources the Cavs indeed had an offer into the Warriors for Jackson. The two sides, I am told, talked about Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Delonte West and even a sign-and-trade for Wally Szczerbiak among other things.
With a 7-3 record and on a four-game winning streak with things still developing this early in the season, the Cavs were unwilling to improve their offer over the weekend. How close the Warriors were to accepting it is known only to their top decision makers.
But the Cavs were not willing to give up any of their size for Jackson and that was a road block. The only way they were willing to give up Ilgauskas is if there was an agreement to buy him out and have him return in 30 days, which is permitted under current rules. In addition, right now J.J. Hickson is virtually untouchable unless it is for a home run deal.
All good insight, and he adds this:
Sending Jackson somewhere he didn't want to go perhaps was a private goal in the Warriors' front office after the way he appeared to use them to get a new big contract only to revolt less than a year later.
To that final point, however, I must disagree. If that was really a goal of the Warriors management, then Stephen Jackson would have wound up playing in L.A. or Cleveland. Why? Because everything the Warriors management does is a spectacular failure, and that's just the way things work.