Before Saturday, it seemed as though the only scouting reports Boston Celtics fans would need to read regarding the 2017 NBA Draft were “Will Markelle Fultz be able to defend?” and “Can Fultz play with Isaiah Thomas?”
Then Danny Ainge got weird, dealt the No. 1 pick for the No. 3 pick and another asset in next year’s draft, and forever altered the landscape of the 2017 class. Now the Sixers will add Fultz to their young core of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and the Celtics’ selection is back up in the air.
One of the names being floated is Kansas wing Josh Jackson — a hyper-athletic wing with an intriguing, versatile skill set on both ends of the court. On paper, Jackson looks like exactly the type of prospect Ainge often covets, but does he fit on Boston’s roster? Let’s take a look.
— Elite athleticism — explosive leaping and speed
— High motor and extremely competitive nature — desperately wants to win
— Excellent scorer/decision-maker in transition
— Very good rebounder and passer for position
— Versatile defender who could be elite/All-Defense First Team down the line
— Funky but effective shot (but will it translate?)
Fit With The Celtics
Ask 10 different people what they think of Jackson’s fit in Boston, and you’ll get 10 different answers. The two most prevalent schools of thought are as follows.
IN FAVOR: Jackson’s potential is through the roof due to his athleticism and versatility. He’s a perfect fit for the modern NBA defensively — a wing who can guard multiple positions and crash the boards on both ends. Lineups with Jackson, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown would be brutally difficult to score against, since everybody would be physically gifted, highly competitive and able to switch onto multiple positions. Meanwhile, Jackson’s passing at his position makes him a very unique talent, even given his funky shooting mechanics. He can distribute off the dribble like a guard, and he seems to see the game at a very high…