The Boston Celtics drafted former Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball standout Demetrius Jackson in the 2016 NBA Draft and then had him spend his entire rookie season shuttling between Beantown and the Celtics’ developmental team, the Maine Red Claws.
On Saturday, the Marian High School star got the chance to hit the reset button on his fledgling NBA career when the Celtics released him. Jackson, a 6-foot-1, 201 pound point guard, will be a free agent come Monday.
Despite never getting a fair shake, Jackson was gracious in his exit from Boston:
Thank you Boston ☘️— Demetrius Jackson (@D_Jay11) July 15, 2017
The Celtics already had Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier as point guards when they drafted Jackson in the second round (45th overall) last June. Jackson was a consistent starter for the Red Claws. He held a 14.8 points per game average, but shot just 42 percent from the floor.
Jackson played a total of 17 minutes for Boston in his rookie season, all of it during times when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
This summer, the Celtics prioritized signing Abel Nader, Jackson’s Red Claws teammate and D-league (now G-league) rookie of the year. The club won’t have to pay Jackson $734,750 by waiving him now, but they’ll still owe him a good chunk of change.
With Semi Ojeleye signing, Celtics will waive Demetrius Jackson per source. He has $650,000 guaranteed.— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 15, 2017
It’s been tough sledding for the recent former Irish stars Jackson, Jerian Grant (now with the Chicago Bulls) and Pat Connaughton, who is entering his third (non-guaranteed) year with the Portland Trailblazers.
It’s tempting to think about what might have been if Jackson elected to stay in South Bend. But instead of prognosticating on what we could never prove, we’ll instead wish Jackson good luck on his journey. Hopefully, the next landing spot will have minutes available for a hungry point guard with plenty of promise.