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2018 NBA Draft - Brew Hoop Community Draft: Jaren Jackson Jr. at Pick Number Four

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J3 may prove to be the draft’s leading big man

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Michigan State vs Michigan Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The first two selections of the Brew Hoop Community Draft were relatively ho-hum with near-consensus picks Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic going first and second respectively. Now, as we get deeper into the lottery, the intrigue begins. You, the voters, chose Marvin Bagley III as the third overall pick, and now it is Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr.’s turn at the fourth slot.

Jaren Jackson Jr. (3J? J3? JJJ? J3? JJ Jr.?) is widely lauded as perhaps the most complete two-way big in this year’s draft, and he backed up a lot of those claims with his freshman year play in Lansing. Averaging 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and 1.1 assists on 21.1 minutes a night, the blocks are the only real eyebrow-raisers. That number is indicative of the talent he already possesses on the defensive end. Jackson has the size to defend fives down in the paint, but he spent the bulk of his season playing as a power forward and deftly containing opposing forwards and occasional guards from the perimeter inwards thanks to his quickness:

While Jaren was prolific on the defensive side of the ball, he also flashed a critical offensive skill: A consistent three-point shot. His 39.6% rate from deep on 2.7 attempts a game represents a wonderful tool that will make him a fascinating chess piece in any offensive scheme he’s tossed into. The question on offense will surely be whether his productivity will remain as efficient if he’s given a larger role in the NBA. Taking only an average of 6.6 shot attempts last season, Jackson may never become an offensive juggernaut, but at age 18 he’ll have plenty of time to work out his handle, add post-moves, and learn how to help out without being a primary option.

Like most of the guys at the very top of the draft, Jackson Jr. doesn’t have too many glaring flaws. A glaring one is his proclivity for fouling. A lot. His 5.7 fouls per 40 minutes is reminiscent of Larry Sanders’s worst instincts and suggest a shot-blocker who could be baited onto the bench by veteran players who know how to get him to literally jump into trouble. Additionally, it’ll be interesting seeing how he improves his strength coming up against NBA-sized opponents; at 6’11.75” and 235 pounds, Jackson may find himself needing time to grow more fully into his body before serving as a physical match to established players.

But, hey, like I said, the guy is only turning 19 in September and he’s got a hell of a pedigree to work from. If the draft order holds as-is and Jaren Jackson Jr. is available maybe the Memphis Grizzlies could talk themselves into picking him as their center of the future. But this is a Milwaukee Bucks site, and we’ve got the fifth pick in the Community Draft to figure out. Who’s up next?

Brew Hoop Community Draft Board Rankings

1. Deandre Ayton - C, Arizona (The Stepien Profile)

2. Luka Doncic - PG, Real Madrid (The Stepien Profile)

3. Marvin Bagley III - C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)

4. Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C, Michigan State (The Stepien Profile)

Poll

My Pick for the #5 spot on the Brew Hoop Community draft board is:

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Mohamed Bamba
    (147 votes)
  • 12%
    Trae Young
    (32 votes)
  • 21%
    Michael Porter Jr.
    (56 votes)
  • 6%
    Wendell Carter Jr.
    (18 votes)
  • 3%
    Miles Bridges
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (put in the comments)
    (3 votes)
266 votes total Vote Now