Jarrett Jack is pricey, probably worth it

Now that Jarrett Jack’s signing is official, it’s time to take a look at the implications.

First off, in my opinion, this signing had ZERO to do with Chris Bosh. Yes, Jack and Bosh were college teammates and best friends. Yes, I’m sure Bosh is thrilled to have his buddy around. And yes, I’m sure Bryan Colangelo is quite aware of this relationship.

Do I think Toronto committed $20 over 4 years to a player based on his friendship with Bosh? Hell no.

With Jack, the Raps get a guy that fits in nicely with their current team, and has potential to keep improving. He’s 25, can play either guard position, and brings some much-needed defensive skills to a pretty bad defensive squad.

His shooting numbers in Indiana were also very solid (35% 3FG and 45% FG), especially after beating out T.J. Ford in the second half of the season and starting at point guard. Jack also seems like a pretty smart player and won’t settle for that shot unless he’s open – expect to see him try and drive more often. He’s a strong guy and won’t back down from anybody on either side of the court.

Remember when the Raps were at their best? It was when they had two point guards (Calderon and Ford) and Colangelo has chosen to go back to that strategy. Really, it speaks more to the lack of confidence in Roko Ukic than anything – Obviously, the Raps are in a win-now (or win-soon) mindset, and they really don’t trust Roko. Hopefully, though, Jack can help both Ukic and Demar DeRozan, especially after mentoring Brandon Rush in Indiana. As a leader, there’s no doubt he’ll be solid.

Staying on the DeRozan theme, this signing also gives Toronto plenty of options while DD finds his game in the NBA. Jack and Antoine Wright can handle the 2-guard spot for now, and I truly believe JJ will be a great bench player/spot starter for the duration of his contract. Hopefully, DeRozan becomes a really good player, giving the Raps plenty of depth in the backcourt.

In all honesty, there’s not a whole lot of negatives to speak of in Jack’s game. He can be turnover-prone when asked to do too much, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless injuries strike. Really, the only issue with his contract is the amount of money given to a backup. Indiana has added Earl Watson for very little and it’s worth asking whether that would have been a better signing…

I say no, and that’s coming from a Watson fan. He’s 30, and far too small to play anything but point guard. Jack is truly a much better fit, and probably deserves close to what he’s getting when compared to other contracts around the league. Obviously, the drawback is that Toronto can no longer target a backup for Turkoglu at the small forward position (I don’t think Delfino’s much of a 3). The team is also still short a big, which will hopefully be addressed by signing Rasho Nesterovic. Still, looking at the big picture, Jack is a good signing.

He’s valuable off the bench, and even more important if injuries strike. Remember what happened when Jose was injured last season? Or maybe you’ve blocked it out…ya, it was that bad.

It won’t happen again.

-DL

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