Many NBA scouts and analysts have Washington guard Markelle Fultz as the predicted number one overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft and believe he could be a future All-Star down the road. There is one talented small forward from Kansas that also needs to join the conversation as far as future All-Stars in this draft are concerned.
As a freshman Josh Jackson had a sensational year averaging 16.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3 APG while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. This season he was also named Big 12 Freshman of the Year, First-team All-Big 12, and Second-team All-American. What Jackson does on the offensive end is impressive he finishes well through contact when he gets to the rim, he also possesses a very high basketball IQ that allows him to find open teammates on the court. What makes him so valuable as a NBA prospect is his versatility on both sides of the floor. Jackson is a lock-down defender and is very disruptive in the passing lanes and coming weak side to block shots averaging 1.5 BPG and 1.5 SPG. The 6’8 wing has a solid 6’9.75 wingspan along with his elite athleticism that will help him with his transition to the NBA. The team that drafts Jackson will be bringing in a guy with a blue-collar work ethic, he enjoys doing all the dirty work that will help his team be successful.
Jackson is an elite prospect, but has things to work on such as his perimeter shooting and free-throw shooting. Although statistically he shot well from the three-point line with a percentage of 37.8 percent he only shot 90 total attempts and made 34 of them. His shot isn’t broken; he just has a unique form that causes inconsistency at times. If he can develop his three-point shot on a level similar to the consistency of Rudy Gay who shoots 34.5 percent over his career from three he will be a bigger threat offensively. On the other hand, his free-throw shooting needs to improve drastically this season at Kansas he shot 56.6 percent. Along with his shooting he needs to improve on playing defense without fouling, a lot of the time he will try to jump the passing lane and miss the ball causing him to foul. He picked up 4 or more fouls in 5 of Kansas’ first 15 games, and fouled out of 3 of them. The best ability is availability so cutting down on fouls will be key for him while he transitions to the league.
Jackson is a great NBA prospect that has many intangibles that will help him transition to the NBA, if continues to work hard develop his perimeter shooting and fine tune his skills we will be looking at a future star in the NBA. He has the potential to be the best player in the 2017 draft, but only time will tell to see how good he can be and which team selects him on June 22nd.
Article Written By Tobias Bass