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The Clippers are close to adding depth in their backcourt ahead of the NBA’s stretch run.
Fresh off of securing a buyout with Detroit, veteran guard Reggie Jackson intends to sign with the Clippers once he clears waivers Thursday afternoon, a person with knowledge of Jackson’s plans confirmed Tuesday.
The Clippers’ interest in signing Jackson, 29, is mutual because of his all-around potential and competitiveness, a second person not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said. The 6-foot-3 guard was considered the most talented player available in the buyout and free agent market and the Clippers had two open roster spots available.
Jackson will be eligible to play in the postseason because he will be waived before March 1.
For the Clippers, Jackson’s expected signing would come with another benefit — keeping him away from the Lakers, who also hold interest in signing him to bolster their backcourt. The Clippers also acquired another Lakers target, New York forward Marcus Morris, ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline.
Jackson, however, had eyes on the Clippers because of his close friendship with forward Paul George.
Jackson averaged 14.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 14 games this season. He is shooting 38% overall, his first season shooting 40% or worse since his rookie year in 2011-12, though his 37.8% three-point shooting is an increase from his career average of 33%.
Jackson played 30 minutes or more in six of his 14 appearances with Detroit but is not expected to carry such a heavy workload with the Clippers, whose top contributors in the backcourt are set — Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet. Beverley, however, is still recovering from a groin injury that caused him to miss the last four games and three more in January, and Jackson’s presence could ensure that Beverley does not need to rush back.
ESPN first reported Jackson’s intent to join the Clippers.
Times staff writer Tania Ganguli contributed reporting.