JAREN JACKSON JR.
Jaren Jackson Jr. 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: MICHIGAN STATE
WEIGHT: 235 POUNDS
POSITION: POWER FORWARD/ CENTER
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: LOTTERY PICK (CHANCE TO BE TOP 10 PICK OR HIGHER)
Michigan State returned 4 very good sophomores this season. However, it is the play of freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. that has NBA scouts the most excited. The former 5-star recruit has really come on during the past month of the season. The 6’10” PF/C moves very well for his size as he is a very good overall athlete. He has impressed us with his vastly improving offensive game. Known more as a defensive menace coming into the season, Jackson Jr. is showing flashes of becoming a main scoring option for the Spartans.
Jackson Jr. has the the body and skills that NBA general managers look for nowadays. The freshman shows off a consistent mid-range jump-shot and has range past the 3-point line. He has connected on 25 3-point shots already this season and is shooting 45% from long distance. His ability to stretch the floor has us believing he will be a “stretch-4” at the next level while rotating in at center as well. The Spartan has a little hitch in his shot, however he has a good release point and repeats his mechanics consistently.
Jackson Jr. has a deft touch down around the basket and can score with both hands. He has a quick twitch lower body, which enables him to get up quickly for put-backs, dunks, and rebounds. The former McDonald’s All-American flashes potential for a few low-post moves. We would like to see him put in the time and gain 1-2 low post moves. If he can achieve this, he will be a very tough cover in the future since he already plays away from the basket very well.
The future lottery pick will make his mark as an NBA rookie on the defensive end. While teammate Miles Bridges gets all the accolades on being a premier defender, we believe Jackson Jr. has more of an upside on the defensive end. He is averaging 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while only playing 23 minutes per game. Because of his excellent lateral movement, the big-man can guard 3 positions (SF, PF, C). Jackson Jr. has shown us the ability to be a very good help defender and an excellent shot blocker. These skills usually translate to the NBA level and are valuable traits in today’s NBA style of play.
He is a very active rebounder on both ends of the floor and plays very hard. Look for Jackson Jr. to get more playing time as the season gets into the latter stages. He is too talented of a player to only be playing 23 minutes per game. Jaren Jackson Jr. is still developing his all-around game. He is a perfect example of why NBA teams draft on long range potential. He is only scratching the surface of his abilities. The 2018 NBA Draft is shaping up to be one of the weaker classes in the last 5-7 years. With Jackson’s rapidly improving overall game and high upside, he is moving up draft boards every time he steps on the court. He has the looks of a top 7 pick. He is a great example of what NBA teams want out of their big-men. He reminds us of Myles Turner from the Indiana Pacers.
PRO’S AND CON’S OF JACKSON JR.’S OVERALL GAME
Has the prototype NBA big-man body
Well developed outside shooting ability for a big-man
Very good athlete for his size
Needs to improve low-post game
Needs to get stronger
Footwork has to improve
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF JAREN JACKSON JR.
Which current NBA player does Jackson Jr. remind you of?
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