Since he declared in March, the understanding is that if Isaiah Jackson is projected to be a lottery pick, he’ll stay in the draft, foregoing his eligibility at Kentucky. With over two months until the event, Jackson’s standing in mock drafts continues to vary. ESPN’s mock from April 8 has Jackson No. 11, safely inside the lottery, but The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has him well outside of it in his latest projections, going No. 21 to the New York Knicks. Even more, he says he’s hearing from agents and scouts that Jackson is still considering returning to Kentucky for another season.
A fascinating situation, as Jackson is considering returning to school, per The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker. That tracks with what agents and scouts I’ve talked to have been told as well. Jackson could certainly use another year in college to iron out some of the more raw parts of his game. Having said that, he showed genuine growth, especially late in the season. NBA teams would assuredly take a chance on him somewhere in Round 1, potentially even in the late lottery, due to his elite-level physical tools. He’s 6-10 with a 7-3 wingspan and all sorts of twitchy explosiveness. He is the prototypical run-and-jump, play-finishing, shot-swatting center prospect and has the athleticism to legitimately do it.
Sophomore Isaiah Jackson is a tempting thought, but as always in these situations, it’s wise not to get your hopes up, especially before Jackson puts his freak athleticism on display at the draft combine in June.
Elsewhere, Vecenie also has BJ Boston going to the Knicks with the 32nd pick. If that happens, New York might as well put checkerboard on its uniforms. (Not really. The checkerboard is hideous.)
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