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Jaren Jackson

Michigan St
  • (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Born: 9/15/99 
  • Height: 6’10”
  • Wingspan: 7’4″
  • Weight: 230 lbs
  • Draft Eligibility: 2018
  • Nationality: American
  • High School: Park Tudor School (Indiana)

Strengths

  • One of the youngest players in the class (just turned 18) and a late bloomer physically. Has seemingly added legitimate muscle and looks bouncier with superior mobility since the Hoop Summit.
  • Listed at 225 pounds but looks capable of strength addition in his upper and lower body with wide shoulders and not overly thin legs.
  • Good size for a modern five at 6-foot-10 with plus length (7-foot-4 wingspan). Length really pops on film.
  • Fluid and coordinated changing ends as a runner with plus hands and despite lacking some explosion from a stand-still he can play above the rim in space.
  • Skilled offensively. Has a bit of a knuckleball shot with a lower release but is comfortable from college 3pt range.
  • Can put on the ball on the floor in space, transition or on closeouts, possessing rare control and agility for his size.
  • Ambidextrous finisher around the rim with plus touch and is a high-level offensive rebounder.
  • Outstanding rim protection anticipation, range and instincts. Quick to the ball and off the floor.
  • Has the feet to defend in space and contain more agile ball-handling NBA fours on closeouts.

Weaknesses

  • Not an overly explosive leaper and looked a bit heavy-footed defending on the perimeter in high school, but looks to have changed his body/gotten more mobile.
  • While possessing legitimate skill he’s not a shifty ball-handler, especially in traffic, and lacks the passing awareness currently to have a consistent playmaking role.
  • Is the shooting for real? His mechanics are probably more projectable into NBA space given his lower release but will it translate?

Bottom Line

Jackson Jr. is one of the youngest players in his class, and has a ton of momentum right now with his athletic and strength improvement as a late bloomer. He looks to be capable of almost every task you’d ask from a modern big, with playmaking, shooting and two-level defensive upside. A legitimate candidate to break the top five come draft time, Jackson Jr’s rise will be contingent on the degree of his performance he is in these respective areas of course while keeping in mind there is untapped potential here with his age.

— Cole Zwicker, 11.1.17

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