The next domino to fall is the draft’s first wing player, a talented and athletic one-and-done freshman who showed a heart and desire for the game on a competitive college team. The people have spoken: Josh Jackson - SF, Kansas.
Jackson entered the season as a highly touted freshman prospect and lived up to most of the hype. He’s an older prospect than both Fultz (19.0) and Ball (19.6) at 20.3 years old, according to Draft Express, which shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but it may impact his physical growth and ability to bulk up. Leading Kansas to a 31-5 record and an Elite Eight appearance while garnering both Big 12 Freshman of the Year Honors and a First-Team All Conference position adequately represents Jackson’s passion for the game. Meanwhile his averages of 21.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per 40 minutes reflect his play on the court.
Standing 6’8” with a measly -- by Bucks standards -- 6’10” wingspan and below average sized hands allows Jackson to use his quickness and feel for the game to compensate for his lack of elite length. He parlayed that into 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per 40 minutes, and Jackson’s elite defensive ability put him in a position to consistently guard the opposing team’s best wing player. Fundamentally he’s a hard-nosed defender by staying in a good defensive stance and position to expose a player’s or team’s weaknesses. Despite subpar dribbling ability, Jackson’s an elite transition player who attacks the rim with vigor and can find the open man as well.
Jackson showed the capacity to play stretch four both offensively and defensively in college, but his meager 203 pound frame may prevent him from effectively doing the same at the pro level where positional fluidity is coveted. Jackson’s effort in the post won’t cancel out his lack of build when banging with opposing wings in the post.
So even though he’s a very good defender, coming into the NBA he lacks switchability, but does he fill the role of the other heavily coveted player in the evolving NBA, the 3-and-D wing? Throughout his lone season in Kansas Jackson’s three-point shot was a hot topic. On 90 attempts, he shot a solid 38% from three-point range on the season thanks to a second half of the season barrage, but his form is questionable and inconsistent and that’s reflected in the next chapter in our cautionary tale of prospects with poor free throw percentages: 56.6 % on 173 attempts and 6.4 per 40 minutes via Hoop-Math.com.
Jackson appears much more comfortable at this time shooting the DeMar DeRozan midrange jumper, of which he took 155 on the season with 11 of his 59 makes being assisted. In comparison, 29 of his 34 made three-pointers were assisted. That’s a pretty good snapshot of Jackson’s offensive game away, but his specialty is attacking downhill and getting to the rim. He shot 69% on his 184 shots at the rim. Although his dribbling skills need improvement Jackson can slash and kick with the best of them, and he isn’t afraid of drawing contact to go to the line.
With the Bucks logjam at the forward position Jackson would struggle for minutes, especially upon the return of Jabari Parker, but Jackson knows how to grind and fight. At times his temper can be a problem both on and off the court drawing questions about his maturity, but Jackson’s a highly skilled player and poised to be a slashing scorer with a capable -- and possibly, a soon to be under construction -- jumpshot and strong defensive instincts for whatever team takes him in the top five.
The 2017 Brew Hoop Draft Board
- Markelle Fultz - PG, Washington - DraftExpress Profile
- Lonzo Ball - PG, UCLA - DraftExpress Profile
- Josh Jackson - SF, Kansas - DraftExpress Profile
My pick for #4 on the Brew Hoop Community Draft Board is:
This poll is closed
Jayson Tatum - SF, Duke
De’Aaron Fox - PG, Kentucky
Malik Monk - SG, Kentucky
Jonathan Isaac - SF/PF, Florida State
Dennis Smith - PG, N.C. State
Lauri Markkanen - PF, Arizona
Trade the pick!