By R.L. Bynum
As expected, the Phoenix Suns signed Justin Jackson to a 10-day hardship contract on Tuesday as he returns to the metropolitan area where he ended his Carolina career by winning a national championship.
Jackson, who played one minute in one game during his 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics, joins Cameron Johnson on a team missing key players. Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, JaVale McGee and Abdel Nader are still in the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols.
Johnson made his Phoenix debut Tuesday night in the Suns’ 123–110 win at New Orleans, getting two rebounds and missing a 3-point attempt in eight minutes. Coach Monty Williams rejoined the team after being in the protocols.
To make space for Jackson, Phoenix waived Emanuel Terry, who had been on a 10-day contract.
It was a crazy holiday season for Jackson, who didn’t get to spend his first Christmas as a father with his baby daughter Luna and wife Brooke in Texas. Instead, he was in Boston away from his family after entering the protocols while the Celtics were in Milwaukee on Christmas Day.
This is Jackson’s sixth NBA team after earlier stints with Sacramento, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee before going to Boston.
Before signing with the Celtics, Jackson started the season playing for the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ G League team. Jackson was averaging 22.7 points and shooting 47.3% from the floor, 42.4% from 3-point range and 79.2% from the free-throw line in 10 games while averaging 2.9 assists for Texas. His scoring average was fifth in the league.
Jackson was the 15th overall pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2017 NBA draft and was dealt on draft day to the Sacramento Kings. He scored a career-high 28 points with five 3-pointers on Jan. 5, 2019, for Sacramento in a 127–123 home loss to Golden State.
Late in his second season with the Kings, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, along with Zach Randolph, for Harrison Barnes.
After two seasons in Dallas, the Mavericks dealt him to Oklahoma City on Nov. 27 along with Trevor Ariza and a 2023 second-round pick.
After being released last season on April 5 by Oklahoma City, Jackson signed with the Milwaukee Bucks and added an NBA title to the 2017 NCAA title he won with Carolina.
Photo via @Suns