Breakers rule out making play for Cedric Jackson
BASKETBALL: The Breakers have ruled out trying to bring former star import Cedric Jackson back to Auckland after he was sensationally dumped by Melbourne.
Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher told New Zealand radio he would not be going after Jackson, who played in three NBL championship in his four seasons with them.
"I was very surprised to hear that he was released by Melbourne," Boucher said. "Often when a team isn't performing, the first place they look at is the imports.
"Cedric's output as far as his shooting goes probably hasn't been where it was when he was in a Breakers uniform. But the rest of his game is good. He's rebounding well and his assists are high.
"There's obviously some real chemistry issues with the Melbourne United team and they're looking to try to rectify those by replacing Cedric and hopefully get themselves back on track.
"As far as we're concerned, Cedric will always remain a part of the Breakers family but he is definitely not somebody we have been speaking to.
"We're all very surprised about this but we haven't reached out to Cedric at all (with an offer)."
The Breakers had been keen to retain Jackson but couldn't compete with Melbourne's offer. Boucher hinted the Breakers' budget would not allow them to pursue Jackson.
The former Breakers point guard was let go by Melbourne United just nine games into his contract. Melbourne says the decision is a strategic one as Jackson has averaged 10 points and 5 assists early this season.
Jackson won the NBL's Most Valuable Player award in 2013, earning the same honour in the grand final that year and again in 2015. He led the league in assists in each of his four seasons at the Breakers.
The Breakers will continue to search for a replacement for current import Ben Woodside who's out for six to eight weeks with ruptured tendons Boucher confirmed the club is in discussions with American guard David Stockton, son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton.
"The search is on to find Ben's replacement. We don't want to rush into it. We want to make sure we find the right person," he said.
"Word spreads pretty quickly in the world of basketball. My email has been bombarded by agents who have heard about Ben's injury and there's plenty of names crossing my desk.
"We are looking at David. He's a guy we looked at in the pre-season before Ben came on our radar. Unfortunately while we were looking, he got picked up to play in Croatia. But, yes, he's a guy we are looking at along with some other names."
Boucher agreed that Donald Trump's shock win in the American election might encourage more players to look towards playing careers in Australia and New Zealand.
"I think there will be a lot of US players looking at this part of the world with interest," he said.
- NZ Herald