Well, I guess we’re really in the thick of it now huh? With just one full day left until Thursday night’s draft, the need to #staywoke is becoming more and more apparent. A lot of rumors flying around, a lot of players reportedly on the move, but still we press forward with the countdown. For all you newcomers be sure to check out previous picks. For all you returning customers, thank you for your service. Let’s get to it.
With the 3rd Pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics Select…
Big shakeup in the top 3, and thus the Celtics find themselves at #3 with another future first round pick coming their way. With this third pick, I predict the Celtics to take Jackson, the 6’8″ 207 pound wing with a 6’10” wingspan.
People say that Jackson and Jaylen Brown would be detrimental to each others development on the same team, and that might turn out to be true, but if the Celtics are looking for length and defense, which history tell us they are and teams cannot have enough of players that bring both of those things to the table, than Jackson is the pick at 3 if the Lakers are predictable and take Ball at 2. Tell me how having two young, high energy, high upside, defensive minded players is a bad thing? If your argument is that they play the same position, which the way I see it is really the only argument, than that would be made irrelevant by the fact that positionless basketball is becoming more and more prevalent. I don’t think it would be hard for these guys to share minutes and the court, especially when you have Horford as your post player to run sets.
In his only season at Kansas (Big 12) Jackson put up 16.3/7.4/3/1.7/1.1, Jackson made a name for himself on both sides of the ball for his versatility and quickness. He is active on the boards because of his bounciness, which also allows him to get up without much space around him. While he isn’t exceptional at any one thing on the offensive side of the ball, he is versatile and can do a bit of everything- he is a capable passer, has good court vision, is very explosive-especially that first step. While people point to his shot as an issue, I would argue it was average in college and will improve in a system that preaches moving the ball and finding the open man/shot, like the Celtics. With a true shooting percentage of 55.9%, an effective field goal percentage of 55.2%, and a 37.8% 3 point percentage paint a picture that looks fairly similar to other players in the league (Jimmy Butler: 56.8% True Shooting percentage, 49.2% effective FG percentage, and 36.7% from 3 on 3.3 triples shot per game last season, as one example). This splits are pretty impressive considering his stroke is not great, the ball can come off of his off hand at times and he leaves his elbow pretty far out.. He could be a promising young stretch four/point forward, and while his shooting splits are not astounding, it is encouraging, and tells me that the floor for Jackson is very good, even with his interesting stroke. Regardless of his shot which will improve with retooling and reps, Jackson impacts winning in just about every way. A 10.7 Box Plus/Minus, 4.9 Win Shares, and a 24.5 tells the story of a player who does what is necessary.
While he has maybe the most upside of any player in the draft, there are question marks and red flags surrounding Jackson. The first being, as previously mentioned, he would have to do some retooling of his shooting stroke at the NBA level to bring the elbow in and hopefully make the release a bit quicker in order to get shots off against NBA defenses, which is another question mark, albeit a smaller one- how his scoring ability will translate against next-level defenses. The big red flag surrounding Jackson, however, is his off court life. From vandalism and threats of violence to a hit and run, trouble seems to find its way to Jackson. Now, could a solid coaching system and a good core of teammates help him with that? Possibly, and if any team checks those boxes it’s the Celtics, although the aren’t the only ones, but it’s all about reward-over risk, and for Jackson that might hold true
Alright, well this does it for the exciting part of the draft day countdown, next two picks coming at you, plus some sleeper picks as well, so stay tuned and #staywoke.