There has been an NBA prospect that is quickly rising among big boards and his name is Jaren Jackson Jr. Standing at 6’11” with a 7’4″ wingspan, Jackson Jr. has the physical intangibles to impress NBA Scouts.
Sources: Jaren Jackson Jr., had a monster workout for Suns on Sunday and continues to be the long-term prospect those outside Top 4 are working to move up and select in the draft. Offers to Sacramento, Atlanta and Memphis may become increasingly aggressive between now and June 21.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2018
This begs the question, should the Phoenix Suns look deeper into taking Jackson Jr. over Ayton, Doncic or Bagley? Offensively, he performs well off of the dribble and was 39% behind the three-point line. His athleticism really jumps out at you as well as his ability to keep the flow of the offense moving. Where it gets interesting for me is on the defensive end.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is quick to recover on pick-and-rolls and can defend guards as well. This is crucial in the NBA game. Additionally, Jackson Jr. averaged 3.5 blocks per game while only playing 22.2 minutes per game. Which some could argue that gives him the advantage over Texas Center Mo Bamba. Jackson Jr. does tend to get into foul trouble, averaging 3 fouls per game, which will need to be addressed at the NBA level. Overall this is a two-way, “stretch 4” that I think can really translate well into the NBA game.
Just watch this breakdown of Jaren Jackson Jr’s game by SB Nation:
With his stock rising, you could make a case for him to be the number 1 pick in this year’s draft. My gut tells me that the Suns will still take Ayton due to his higher ceiling. I would really love a scenario where Jackson Jr. falls just enough for the Suns to move up and take him AS WELL as Ayton. Dreaming is free right? Just imagine a lineup of “Pick a point guard”, Booker, Jackson, Jackson Jr. (aptly nicknamed “3J”), and Ayton. You know have size, scoring ability, and defense scattered through that lineup. Think, Shaq & Kobe 2.0 + The Spurs Twin Towers 2.0. WOW.
I like how Ricky O’Donnell from SB Nation puts it:
“Give him time. Jackson won’t turn 19 years old until September, making him young for even his class. He already does so many things so well in comparison to his peers. Bagley and Ayton can’t defend like him. Bamba can’t shoot or handle this well.”