By Jeff Siegel
In advance of the 2018 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops will be breaking down prospects, both from the college ranks and internationally, with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks will be evaluating in the coming days. More than 50 prospects will be profiled in this space and, in the end, the goal is to inform Hawks fans prior to June 21, when the Hawks are scheduled to make four selections with the first 34 picks.
Today’s breakdown glances at Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr.
The youngest player among the top prospects in this year’s NBA Draft, Jaren Jackson Jr. might just represent the long-term future of his position. “3-and-D” is the most popular term in the league right now as teams look for perimeter players who can hit shots and lock down on defense. It’s not a term we hear a lot about traditional, rim-protecting big men because traditional, rim-protecting big men have never been able to shoot from outside. The past few years have changed that mentality significantly, with players like Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis, and Myles Turner able to step out and shoot from outside in addition to their defensive duties, but the pure 3-and-D-ness of those guys is still in question. Embiid and Porzingis are more post threat than shooter and Turner still hasn’t quite figured out how to extend his range to the three-point line on a consistent basis. Those guys are good on switches for their position but aren’t phenomenal at it. Jackson looks to be all of those things: the rim-protecting big man who can step out and guard all five positions with ease while spacing the floor offensively with a strong three-point shot and ability to play in pick-and-pop...