Last Updated: 2017-06-19
If there is one player that could shake up the 2017 NBA Draft, it’s Josh Jackson. Although Jackson is not one of the coveted point guards in the draft, he is billed as one of the most versatile players in the draft process. He can score, defend, get out on the break, force turnovers and rebound. As a result, Jackson could easily hear his name called within the first two selections.
But where does Jackson fit it best?
During his lone season with the Kansas Jayhawks, Jackson averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He also played with a dynamic backcourt that made the game come easy. Jackson shot 51 percent from the field in college. However, he is not a great shooter, yet. Still, Jackson already knows how to move without the ball.
For example, Jackson shot a respectable 37.8 percent from 3-point range. Unfortunately, he only made 56.6 percent of his foul shots with the Jayhawks. For a player that can glide to the hoop at any level, foul shooting is a must. Meaning, Jackson can become a devastating offensive player if he learns to shoot free throws at a high rate.
Jackson provides great defensive tenacity at multiple positions, as well. He should be able to defend at least three positions. Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics selected Jaylen Brown in the 2016 draft at the small forward position. Would they draft consecutive guys at the same position. Neither player will enter the NBA as a great shooter, but they show the willingness to compete on both ends.
If the Los Angeles Lakers have a chance to draft Jackson, they could solidify their forward spot for years to come. In recent seasons, they drafted Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram up front. With Jackson in the mix, this Lakers’ front court could mirror what the Golden State Warriors have done with the small lineup.
However, there is one slight difference. These guys have only played one year of college basketball, while players like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green played at least three college seasons. Therefore, it seems like the Lakers will need more time for the unit to develop.
Jackson has plenty of length, but he isn’t the only answer as a potential small forward. He is roughly two inches taller than Lonzo Ball and has a longer reach than the fellow freshman guard. However, there is no reason to think Ball can’t play small forward in the NBA. In addition, Jackson’s wingspan is not as long as Jayson Tatum’s reach. Plus, Tatum seems like the best scorer of all the freshman prospects.
Currently, Draft Express has Jackson slotted in the No. 3 spot to the Philadelphia 76ers. Does he fit in with the combination of Ben Simmons and Dario Saric on the wings? It’s possible, but the 76ers could go for a point guard or a more traditional scoring threat on the wing.
Therefore, Jackson could go anywhere from No. 1 to No. 5.