Jackson, 6-foot-3, has spent the last three seasons employed by CSKA Moscow. Appearing in 27 games during the 2014-15 season, the former Duquesne guard averaged 7.0 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.4 rebounds on 53.7% shooting. One of Jackson's finest performances of the season came in a Euroleague Third Place Game against Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul on May 17, where he scored 12 points and dished a team-high 6 assists.
In 2015, Jackson was considered one of 10 contenders for 2014-15 VTB United League Defensive Player of the Year honors. Though the 29-year-old's reported ability to push the ball in transition bodes well for his ability to stick with a team looking to play faster, this commentary from VTB-league.com explains why Jackson has piqued the Pacers' interest:
Jackson was primarily known as a scorer when he joined CSKA, but he's improved dramatically on the other side of the ball. The Army Men have enough weapons on offense; they need Jackson for lockdown individual defense. When the team needs to apply suffocating pressure and force a mistake, Jackson often gets the call. He's athletic, competitive and not afraid of contact, making him an invaluable member of CSKA's defense.
Having completed the final season of his multi-year deal with CSKA, Jackson is now said to be mulling over whether to remain with his club in Russia or further explore his options Stateside:
CSKA Moscow PG Aaron Jackson has drawn interest from three NBA teams, a source said. He is a free agent and plans to explore possibilities.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 12, 2015
Of those teams, Jackson only has prior playing experience with the Indiana Pacers. After having gone undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft, the now 29-year-old played for the Pacers Summer League team in Orlando, averaging 3.75 points in 21.5 minutes per game.
Five seasons later, adding the seasoned overseas professional to the mix as a reserve guard makes ample financial sense for the Pacers moving forward.
As reported by the Indy Star's Candace Buckner, Larry Bird has already gone on the record stating that he does not expect to retain C.J. Watson next season:
"I don't think so. I don't think I'll bring him back," Bird said. "I like him as a kid and a player, but he hasn't played much in the last 20 games each season."
With the team's backup guard likely on the way out and Donald Sloan on the bubble, adding another guard option on the cheap needs to be on the Pacers' summer to-do list, especially if both Roy Hibbert and David West elect to take their player options as expected.
For more on the player Draft Express writes has long been lauded for his "ability to quarterback an offense," check out this highlight package from his playing time with CSKA Moscow: