- Where will Jaren Jackson Jr. go in the draft? The Crossover’s Front Office breaks down his strengths, weaknesses and more in its in-depth scouting report.
Jaren Jackson Jr. played his way into the draft’s top group of prospects with a freshman season that included some eye-popping moments. Capable of stretching the floor on one end and altering shots on the other, his theoretical versatility at center sets him apart from most every other prospect in the draft.
Jackson comes from basketball bloodlines: his father played in the NBA for a decade, and his mother works for the WNBA Players’ Association. As one of the youngest draft-eligible players, he offers a lot of room for improvement.
The Crossover’s Front Office breaks down Jackson’s strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparison and more in its in-depth scouting report.
Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | DOB: 9/15/99 (18)
Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG
• Enviable physical tools, having measured with a 7’4” wingspan and 9’1” standing reach. Nimble feet allow him mobility on both sides of the floor. Should be able to pack on muscle.
• Strong rim-protection potential (averaged 4.9 blocks per-36 and his 14.3% block rate was fourth-best nationally). Has the fluidity to defend in space and a feel for timing, making him an ideal defensive prospect for a modern center.
• Shot 39.6% from three, offering potential to grow into a consistent floor-spacing threat.
• Developing offensive skill level. Showed flashes of being able to handle and drive from the perimeter. Has made huge strides dating back to his senior year of high school.
• Can be pushed around on the interior. Not overly explosive off the gather, which creates issues playing and finishing in traffic. Not a go-to scorer on the block yet.
• Shooting form isn’t ideal. Has a push mechanism were he lets it go in front of his face. Can make jumpers when wide open but could pose some issues when being closely contested.
• Needs to mature both physically and mentally. Gets visibly aggravated at times when the game doesn’t go his way. Battled foul trouble often.
Scouting Reports: Big Ten Tournament (February 2018)
Comparison: Rasheed Wallace
Jackson’s ability to shoot threes, generate defensive stops and develop his own offense make him a projectable versatile frontcourt piece to work with (minus Wallace’s level of crazy).