Boston College guard Reggie Jackson hasn’t hired an agent and his name has been everywhere from mid first round to late first round to early second round in mock drafts. He’s not the biggest name out there, but if he stays in and somehow falls, he’d be a fantastic pick for the Pistons with the first of their second rounders.
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 208 pounds, junior G from Boston College
Key stats: 18.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from three
Projected: Late first/early second round
How would he help the Pistons?
A big guard with the ability to play the point who shot 50 percent overall and over 40 percent from three? Sign me up. I actually have no idea why Jackson isn’t considered a lock for the first round right now.
He is a long-armed and athletic player who can shoot and who has point guard ability, although BC needed him to do a lot of scoring for them. He’d represent great value for the Pistons if he fell to them early in the second round and I see no downside to taking him if he stays in the draft and that happens. The project big men who might be hanging around in the second round are nice, but I’d much rather take my chances on a player like Jackson developing with his size and shooting ability than hope that a skinny four-year center like Keith Benson or JaJuan Johnson not only develops, but can add enough weight to make a NBA rotation. I like both of those guys, but I think the odds heavily favor a player like Jackson, who wouldn’t have the added pressure of needing to bulk up just to be able to get on the court.
How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?
Well, the first reason he wouldn’t help them is he probably won’t be there. As I said, I can’t imagine that in a weak draft, a PG prospect like Jackson won’t move into the first round.
The only real downside to drafting him would mean the Pistons would have tougher roster decisions to make. They’d essentially have to choose between keeping Jackson and Terrico White, since it would be unlikely the team would carry two young, unproven PG prospects. If they took Jackson and he proves to have some potential during camp to play and help the team, they’d also have to make a decision on Rodney Stuckey. Competition from players behind him, whether that would be a player like White or Jackson or incumbent backup Will Bynum, would mean Stuckey would either see decreased minutes or they’d have to clear minutes at SG for hm. I don’t think any of those scenarios are necessarily bad things, but taking a guard like Jackson makes the roster more complex than just taking a big man and throwing him into the mix.
What are others saying?
Much of Jackson’s development since last season can be attributed to the way he utilizes his athleticism. Standing 6’3 with a giant wingspan, but an underdeveloped frame, Jackson has excellent size for a point guard, and while he does a lot of scoring at the college level, he has the makings of a potential floor general on the NBA level if he improves his ability to orchestrate an offense. He took a big step towards that end by learning how to play at different speeds, something that he didn’t do effectively last season. That change has allowed him to cut down on his mistakes considerably, yielding his impressive 2.9 assists-to-turnover ratio. Slowing the game down and using his excellent quickness to exploit seams within the flow of the offense instead of using it to force action, Jackson has looked terrific in the open floor and in most half court situations early this season.
Jackson is one of the true sleepers in this year’s draft. He’s coming off a terrific season at Boston College where he averaged 18 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.3 rpg and shot an impressive 42 percent from three. He’s long, athletic, has great quickness, can run a team and shoot the basketball. Those types of players are typically lottery picks at the end of the day. Scouts have been a little bit slower on the uptake with Jackson, but every NBA team I spoke with has him as a solid first-round pick. A few have him in the lottery. He’s also the type that could really rise with terrific workouts. I expect he’ll stay in the draft.
It all starts with Jackson’s arms. Despite being 6’3, his incredible 7 foot wingspan allows him to play significantly taller … Good foot speed and length make Jackson a terrific defender.
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