BOSTON (CBS) — While Markelle Fultz was dominating most of the headlines after the Celtics won the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, many were saying that Kansas forward Josh Jackson was the prototypical Danny Ainge pick.
He’s an athletic wing with an incredible motor and a disruptive force on the defensive end, so he certainly checks off all of Ainge’s requirements. Jackson hits the floor like no other on just about every loose ball, assuring that he’d earn a handful of Tommy Points should he even don a Celtics jersey.READ MORE: Mac Jones Makes History By Attempting Just One Pass In First Half Of Patriots-Bills
Now that the Celtics have traded out of the top overall pick, Ainge could be zeroing in on the Kansas star with the No. 3 pick on Thursday night. Jackson has not worked out for the team (and it doesn’t sound like he’ll do so before the draft), but if Ainge believe’s he’s the guy to add to Boston’s mix, then not having a pre-draft look at the player will not stop him.
Here’s a closer look at what Josh Jackson could bring to the Celtics and NBA:
Weight: 207 lbs
Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Birthday: February 10, 1997
Points Per Game: 16.3
Assists Per Game: 3.0
Rebounds Per Game: 7.4
Steals Per Game: 1.7
Blocks Per Game: 1.1
Turnovers Per Game: 2.8
Field Goal Percentage: 51.3%
Three-Point Percentage: 37.8%
Free Throw Percentage: 56.6%
Jackson split his high school career between Michigan and California, first playing for Consortium College Prep School in Detroit. He won a state title at Consortium as a sophomore before taking his talents to Justin-Siena High School in Napa to play for Prolific Prep. He averaged 31.2 points per game as a junior and 26.9 points and 13.1 rebounds as a senior, earning a spot atop many recruit boards and on the 2016 McDonald’s All-American roster. He scored 19 points for the victorious West Team to earn Co-MVP honors in the exhibition.
Jackson continued to thrive at the next level at Kansas, leading the Jayhawks to a 31-5 season and a Big 12 title. Jackson was second on the team in scoring and rebounding, earning him Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Conference First-Team. He closed the regular season with a double-double in seven of his final 11 games, but ran into some trouble at the start of the Big 12 tournament (more on that later) and was suspended for the Jayhawks’ quarterfinals loss to TCU.
Jackson was raised by his mother, Apples Jones, who was a standout player at the University of Texas at El Paso, and his stepfather, Clarence Jones, who died of a heart attack when Jackson was playing in a Las Vegas tournament in 2014.
Basketball is not Josh Jackson’s only love. He is also an avid chess player, crediting his stepfather (whom Jackson considered his father) with getting him into the game. Jackson started the chess club at Justin-Siena High, and has been known to seek out the occasional pick-up game.READ MORE: Damien Harris Gives Patriots An Early Lead Over Bills With 64-Yard Touchdown Run
“Chess forces you to think about the decisions you’re making before you make them, after you make them. Just being able to think before you move, think about what happens if you do this or do that,” Jackson told Bleacher Report.
– Jackson’s best trait is his competitiveness, known for going all-out on both ends of the floor. He’s aggressive and willing to do the dirty work, a trait that has won over a lot of NBA scouts and general managers ahead of the draft.
– He possess a high IQ on offense, a smart scorer who doesn’t try to do too much and an extremely opportunistic passer who always knows where his teammates are on the floor.
– Jackson is a disruptive defender which should help him succeed on that end in the NBA. He’s aggressive on the ball and often gets into passing lanes, which led to fast break and transition opportunities for Kansas. He’s also a solid shot blocker for a wing, using his impressive 6-foot-10 wingspan to his advantage.
– While Jackson figures to primarily play at shooting guard or small forward in the NBA, he also played some small-ball power forward while at Kansas.
– Jackson needs to work on his jump shot, as he often releases the ball on his way down. He needs to get better at the charity stripe, too, where he shot just 57 percent at Kansas.
– His aggressiveness can sometimes be his biggest enemy, fouling out of fives games at Kansas, including their loss to Oregon in the Elite Eight.
– There are a few off-court issues with Jackson that are raising some red flags. He suspended for Kansas’ loss to TCU in the Big 12 tournament, a one-game ban handed down by KU coach Bill Self after Jackson revealed he was in a minor accident the previous month, backing into a parked car on campus and leaving the scene of the accident.
Also in February, Jackson and his Kansas teammate LeGerald Vick were charged with misdemeanor criminal damage for vandalizing the car of Vick’s ex-girlfriend, KU women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert, outside of a Lawrence bar last December. In that incident, Jackson allegedly followed Calvert to her car, damaging the vehicle and threatening to beat Calvert after she had gotten into an argument with Vick (and allegedly threw at drink at him).
He was not punished by the school for that incident, but Jackson agreed to a diversion agreement which included anger management courses, community service and abstaining from drug and alcohol use for 12 months. He also had to write a letter of apology to Calvert.MORE NEWS: Jake Bailey Is No Match For Windy Conditions In Buffalo