2018 NBA Draft Profile: Jaren Jackson Jr.
At Michigan State, alongside Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. played as a big, primarily as a stretch four. He averaged (per 40) 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, six (!!!) blocks, and one steal. It should also be noted that Jaren Jackson averages six fouls per 40 minutes as well. He didn't just put up big numbers, but he was efficient at scoring, shooting a 60% clip from two and a 40% rate from three. Jackson also impressed on his free-throw making ability as he does not struggle in that area like typical bigs.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is a versatile defensive big that can make defensive switches onto really any position. He has the uncanny ability to block any shot, no matter the difficulty, and can score from anywhere on the court. Jackson does have some major drawbacks, though.
Weight: 240 lbs
DOB: September 15, 1999 (18 years old)
Jaren Jackson is the best defensive player in the draft. He can make switches from one to five with ease and can guard any position-any player with his length and ability. Jackson's basketball IQ is also above average for his position. His passing can be exceptional at times. Jackson can shoot or finish with either hand which is a very desirable trait, especially for a big man. He has a thin frame right now but can certainly add some more muscle for the NBA. Jackson doesn't make things flashy- he gets things done. He has a solid jumper from three, though it could use some more arc at times.
Jackson's most major flaw is foul trouble. He averaged six fouls per forty minutes which often kept him off of the floor when Michigan State needed him the most- in crunch time. Jackson doesn't handle contact well but that could certainly be improved. He often makes mistakes when double teamed, leading to a large number of turnovers (over three per 40 minutes). Doesn't play with much emotion, if any at all.
Jaren Jackson is still a very raw prospect with an incredible amount of upside. He has potential to be, you guessed it, the next Draymond Green. There also is some concern that he could bust, though. Jackson certainly reminds me along with some other talent evaluators of Noah Vonleh, who was projected to be a top-five draft pick in the 2014 draft. All in all, if Jackson is selected by a team with capable coaches that won't throw him into the fire immediately, he could be a spectacular player.
Ceiling: All-NBA Team
Middle Ground: All-Defense First Team, above average starter
Floor: Defensive Rotational Player
Projected: Top Three Overall Pick
Grade: Top Five Pick