The San Antonio Spurs are still winning games and doing it without Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker out at times. With the team on pace to win more than 60 games, that would likely put the Spurs at the very bottom of the NBA Draft in June. And so, every week I am here to give you another college player who might be a good choice for the Spurs to draft when it comes to be that time in the summer.
This week’s player is North Carolina’s Justin Jackson. The 6’8”, 210-pound forward is rangy, solidly athletic and not a bad project for the Spurs to work with who won’t have to contribute right away. Jackson is definitely on the lighter side and will have to bulk up before he can become a true pro for the organization, but that’s usually the easiest part of becoming a professional since he can just live in the weight room and get big.
Here are some of Jackson’s stats that surely most of you really care about:
- 18.2 points per game
- 5.0 rebounds per game
- 2.7 assists per game
- 79.5 free throw percentage
- 40.0 three-point percentage
- 45.9 field goal percentage
- 6’11” wingspan, 8’7.5” standing reach
Knowing those numbers, almost all of them are leaps from his sophomore year. Most notably, his three-point percentage is up about 11 percentage points and that’s with Jackson shooting twice as many triples than he did last year. He’s a solid shooter at every level and playing for a team like the Spurs will get him a lot of open looks he can take advantage of.
He can shoot at every level, but he does need help getting his own shot and that’s what Joel Berry has done for Jackson a lot this season. He can create a shot in the post when he has a mismatch and he can beat his man off the dribble if a bigger defender is on him. Those are things that can be worked on in the D-League and should be a point of emphasis.
Jackson also has the intangibles as he’s played in a national title game and plays in the toughest conference in the country — the ACC. He’s not scared of a good challenge and he even had his best game of his career against Kentucky, when he scored 34 points, grabbed five boards and dished out three assists while shooting 10-17 from the floor and 10-15 from the charity stripe.