What follows is a full scouting report and a look at what Jackson will bring to the table in the NBA.
Josh Jackson Profile
Weight: 207 pounds
Whew, I had to fan myself after watching tape on Jackson. This kid has a tantalizing set of tools. He is probably the best pure athlete in this draft, while also possessing a ceiling as high as anyone’s. Jackson is aggressive, works hard on both ends of the floor and never goes at half-speed. For a guy who could be a volume scorer, he possesses great court vision, is a very good passer and is fantastic at getting to the hoop and finishing. He also doesn’t demand the ball and can work within a team concept, something rare in today’s AAU-driven, showcase basketball culture.
Jackson also joined a veteran team at Kansas and immediately found success. As a freshman he averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.7 steals in 30.8 minutes. Those are fantastic numbers when you realize he was playing alongside the National Player of the Year in Frank Mason III.
The kid is also a phenomenal defender and that’s not just because of his athleticism. Jackson actually locks guys down, aggressively attacks passing lanes, slows down ball-handlers and never gives up on plays. A true two-way player, this kid is truly fun to watch.
Jackson definitely needs to add bulk to his 207-pound frame to fit in on the wing at the next level. He also needs to become more consistent with his jumper, which produced just a 37.8 percent clip from beyond the 3-point line as a freshman. He hit just 56.6 percent of his free throws, which is usually a good barometer of long-term jump shooting success. He has to work on his release and get better rotation on the ball when he shoots.
Had Jackson gone No. 1 overall I wouldn’t have complained. His upside is tremendous and he’s already a heck of a player. One of the most impressive things about him is that he seemed to get better with every game at Kansas and managed to fit in seamlessly with a veteran team that had championship aspirations. He didn’t force himself into the conversation and instead just became a part of it naturally. That bodes well for his future.