Pierre Jackson to Play Overseas Next Season

Published: August 10, 2013

After several weeks of speculation, Pierre Jackson has finally confirmed that he will be heading to France next season to play porfessionally next season.


Now, that we have confirmation, let’s take a look at how this will effect both Jackson and the New Orleans Pelicans moving forward.

Contract Status

With the Pelicans already over the salary cap, this decision doesn’t really do much for their flexibility. They still have the room exception that they reportedly offered to Greg Oden, and they can use that or a minimum exception to add players. The Pelicans retain the rights to Pierre Jackson, giving them the ability to bring him over in future seasons or to trade his rights in future deals. Usually, these contracts are structured so that a player can leave his foreign team with no buyout obligation once their season is completed in April or May. So, Jackson will likely play for the Pelicans in Summer League next year and the team will be able to decide after that whether they would like to add Jackson to the roster for the following season. He also is a solid trade chip, since a team can get an asset in Jackson, but won’t have to add any salary on their books if they acquire him.


As of right now, the Pelicans have 13 guaranteed contracts on their books. The Pelicans are rumored to be close to bringing Lance Thomas back, leaving them one spot available if they choose to use it. With Jackson gone, the Pelicans now have six players who have primarily played guard over the course of their NBA careers, but it can be argued that Jrue Holiday is their only true point guard, so it would not be unreasonable to think that they could add another point guard to fill out the roster, though center or small forward would be far more likely if they were to make another move.

The League He Will Be Playing In and The Team He Will Be Playing For

Pierre Jackson will be playing in the LNB Pro A league next season. This is the top professional league in France and he will be playing for ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne. ASVEL is the league’s all-time leader in championships, with 17, but they haven’t won one since 2009. Last year, they made it to the semi-finals, led by French MVP Edwin Jackson and Rising Star Award winner Livio Jean-Charles.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about ASVEL is that their Vice President is Tony Parker. Yes, that Tony Parker. In 2009, Parker bought a 20 percent stake in the team and he has an option to purchase another 20 percent when he retires from the NBA. That option also allows him to become the club’s President.

As for the league itself, it had several familiar faces last season, including Summer League fan favorite Jon Brockman. Brockman led the league in rebounding, while former NBA lottery pick Sean May led the league in scoring. First round pick Rudy Gobert led the league in blocks, while ex-OSU star David Lighty was the Finals MVP.

With a player like Jackson, the question is: What will be better for his development; Europe or the NBDL? There are arguments for both sides, but with the Pelicans not having their own NBDL affiliate, I tend to lean towards Europe. The Pelicans share their D-League affiliate with three other teams. These teams send players down, call them back up, send them down, etc. This creates a lack of stability with the roster, the offensive and defensive sets, etc. Essentially, it becomes a pick-up team with players rotating in and out. Last season, for example, 21 guys played for the Iowa Energy last year and since teams all want to see the guys they send get minutes, 18 of them averaged at least 17 minutes per game.

In the French League, the best guy plays and winning is the only goal. The two leagues stretch over a similar period of time, with the NBDL having more games and the European League having more practices. Jackson will get the structure that his game needs in Europe, as he continues to work on becoming a point guard who can efficiently run a second unit in the NBA. If he shows that he can cut down on the turnovers and increase his focus on the defensive end, Pierre Jackson might be ready to take on the New Orleans Pelicans backup point guard position by 2014.



  1. Hank_

    August 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    If we were to sign a player using the MLE, would that mean if were to make a package deal of Aminu, Stiemsma, and the player signed, we would be able to take back around 9 million in salary even though we are over the cap?

    • Michael McNamara

      August 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Hank_ No. It would be much higher than that. Aminu is at 3.7, Steimsma is at 2.7, and the exception player would be 2.6. That is 9 million. You can take back 150% of the salary you trade, so we would actually be able to take back 13.5 mil in salary. It’s one of the reasons I am a fan of using the room exception just to use it. If it is a 1yr deal, it doesnt hurt your future flexibility and it gives you another trade chip. With just Aminu and Steimsma, you can take back about 9.7 million. Big difference.

      • Hank_

        August 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        Michael McNamara just an example but say the Pistons 3 man big rotation isnt working out. could they give Monroe a new contract midseason and then trade him to us so that we could give him the money he wants this off season within the cap restrictions

      • Michael McNamara

        August 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        No. Doesn’t work like that, plus I know it was just an example, but Monroe ain’t goin anywhere unless they get at least an All Star back

  2. slapdoghoops

    August 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Leaving for Europe is probably the best thing for Pierre Jackson.  It pays better and he will most likely be playing better competition that he would have playing in the D-League.

  3. Pingback: Pierre Jackson to Play Overseas Next Season | New Orleans Pelicans News

  4. prpcpa1

    August 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I would consider Brian Roberts a “true point guard”, though you say Holiday is our only one.  I would submit that he is a better backup for Holiday than he was for GV as his game is/was so dissimilar to Vasquez.  Roberts is a much more up-tempo player and I think he’ll complement the position well.  Hope that isn’t just wishful thinking on my part, but I liked the bits I saw of him last year.

    • Michael McNamara

      August 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      True point guard usually implies a guy that looks to set up a teammates shot as options A, B, and C. Looking for his own shot is option D if all else fails.
      I saw the exact opposite from Roberts last season but would love to see him change his ways

  5. Houpgarou

    August 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Michael McNamara
    Yikes, that’s a petty strict definition of pass first.  Jamaal tinsley isn’t in league any more so who meets that?
    Point taken though brob is not exactly what you would call a pass first pg, though he successfully showed flashes of that ability.  between him, rivers, and of course tyreke dominating the ball with the 2nd unit, I think we’re pretty good at backup pg.  
    While I personally love watching a pass first pg and highly value ball movement, I think with a 2nd unit it is acceptable to be a little more selfish as sometimes finding someone to get up good shots and take the ball to the hole can be at a premium when the starters are sitting.

  6. berlinhornets

    August 12, 2013 at 1:10 am

    In addition to the practices and normal league games, Asvel plays in the Eurocup. That is only the second league after the Euroloeague, but its game time nonetheless. And an additional caveat is that he might play against my home town team Berlin and I might get to see him. Would be great! 😉

  7. Michael McNamara

    August 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Houpgarou Michael McNamara Normally, I might agree but the Pelicans second unit has Tyreke and Ryno on it. For our team, specifically, I would prefer a backup who could create for others. Not a guy who dribbles endlessly and settles for mid-range jumpers. Jannero Pargo was fine because that bench was horrible and they needed that. 

    This bench has firepower.

  8. Caffeinedisaster

    August 15, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I think we’ll see Brian Roberts traded this season.  I’m certain there are teams sold on him as a cheap 7th/8th man option.
    Then Pierre comes over next season.  
    Playing in France is his best option.  Playing for New Orleans this season would have stunted his or Austin Rivers’ growth, as there are only so many minutes to offer with all of these guards on the roster. 
    This is especially true with all of the guys we’ve got to set up the offense. (Jrue/EJ/Tyreke/Rivers)

  9. RonJohn63

    August 16, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Michael McNamara You’ve been spoiled by CP3.

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