The NBA draft is right around the corner and lottery teams are stressing about who they need to draft to help turn around their franchise. This draft is supposed to be really deep. Looking at recent mock drafts, it looks like the stud out of Oregon, Dillon Brooks, would be going in the early to middle second round.
The top 3 picks were handed to the Celtics at 1, Lakers at 2, and Sixers at 3. Markelle Fultz is looking to be the number 1 pick overall to many people and analysts.
So what are the Lakers going to do? I’m sure everyone has heard the buzz about Lonzo Ball not wanting to workout for any other team but the Lakers. I mean, I guess this is another Lavar Ball antic, not wanting his son to be drafted to any other team but the Lakers. Lavar Ball is a genius, and by making his son only workout for the Lakers, is putting the Lakers in the media and low-key forcing them to draft Lonzo.
Well, not necessarily “forcing”, but he’s making the public think the Lakers are taking him without a doubt.
The Lakers should make other plans.
Say hello to the Kansas defensive motor, Josh Jackson.
Josh Jackson is 6’8 with a 6’10 wingspan. He has an incredibly high basketball IQ and is one of the most athletic players in the draft.
Let me break this down for you.
When you think of full court chase down blocks, you think of LeBron James bashing on Andre Iguodala. After watching some Josh Jackson defensive highlights, you’re gonna start thinking about Josh Jackson. This guy is FAST, with really long arms, and can get back on D so quickly it’ll make you wonder where in the world he came from.
His on ball defense is stellar. Josh defends in a very “by the book” defensive stance. He mirrors the ball with his hand and sits low on defense all while being able to slide his feet lateral very quickly.
This guy is probably one of the most aggressive players in this draft.
Now if you’re asking me to choose who I’d rather have between Lonzo and Josh, I would go with Jackson without a question because of how aggressive he plays and how NOT aggressive Lonzo plays. Lonzo is hella good don’t get me wrong, but he’s SOFT.
On fast breaks, he’s second to none. Josh Jackson can start a fast break with such ease and finish on the offensive end at the rim. He gets most of his scoring on fast breaks, cuts to the basket, and offensive rebounds.
But if he can’t shoot well, why draft him at #2 in this modern day NBA?
I’ll tell you why.
Shooting is overrated.
Yeah I said it. Golden State didn’t win 2 titles in 3 years because of their shooting. They won because of how incredible they are on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve been one of the best defensive teams in the league for the past 3-4 years and that has put them in contention for a title every year.
The Lakers are ABSOLUTE GARBAGE on defense. The Lakers’ best defender is probably… yeah I can’t even think of their best defender it’s that bad. Drafting Josh Jackson would be a huge addition to the Lakers, a team filled with offensive potential. The Lakers could move Brandon Ingram and Josh Jackson around because the NBA is pretty much position less at this point. Josh Jackson can guard 1-4 and Brandon Ingram showed flashes of GREAT defense in multiple positions. These two long, young players could be a force down the road.
If players out of college can’t shoot so well, it shouldn’t be an ALARMING issue to NBA teams. During his career at Kansas, Josh Jackson shot an underwhelming percentage from 3 point range. He shot .378. Now, what if I told you that Klay Thompson, during his career at Washington State, shot the 3 ball at a .390 clip.
That’s not far off.
Klay is now one of the top 3 best three point shooters in the NBA.
The summertime is where you put in the work to improve your shot and Klay did that. I don’t see any reason why Josh Jackson can’t improve his jump shot. Improving your shot may be one of the simplest things you can improve in the NBA.
Teams need to stop trippin’ so hard on players who can’t shoot the ball. There’s an answer for everything and the answer is WORK.
The Lakers could use a player with an incredibly high IQ who you can count on to make the big play on defense when the time calls for it. Looking at the current roster, there’s no such player like that.
Josh Jackson could be the answer for the Lakers, and he might even be the player to turn the Lakers from being a complete garbage defensive team, to maybe a respectable defensive team.
I mean hey, defense wins championships right?