- Measurables: 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, senior point guard from Baylor
- Key Stats: 19.8 points, 7.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals per game; shot 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range
- Projected: Late first/early second round
- Hickory High similarity score
I have a weak spot for players who go the junior college route, excel there, and earn Division I opportunities. Pierre Jackson was a great JUCO player on a national championship team in Idaho. Here’s what he said after committing to Baylor:
"What Baylor has coming back next year – the front line is crazy," said Jackson. "… They got a couple NBA-caliber front-line players and they’ve got a couple freshmen coming in that are NBA caliber already on a couple mock drafts."
Now, after two standout seasons, Jackson is NBA-caliber himself.
Fits with the Pistons because …
The Pistons are likely to lose Will Bynum to free agency. Despite his detractors, Bynum’s instant offense, pace-pushing ability and athleticism often gave the team a boost in a reserve role over the past five seasons. I’m a well-known Bynum fan, but with the Pistons rebuilding and Bynum aging, it makes little sense for the Pistons to make a big push to re-sign him and Bynum might find a better opportunity to have a well-defined role on a team elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean the Pistons should pass up on the opportunity to replace some of what Bynum brought, and that’s where Jackson comes in.
Like Bynum, he has insane bounce and finishing ability for a player his size. He’s a good ball-handler, has played at a fast tempo and is a good passer on the break and off of penetration. He also has the added benefit of having more range than Bynum — Jackson shot 40 percent and 36 percent from three in his two seasons at Baylor. If Jackson is on the board when the Pistons pick in the second round, he’d be a nice fit for Bynum’s role and spot on the depth chart.
Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …
The first major issue is that the Pistons and Bynum may not part ways. I’d say it’s a longshot that he’s back, but who knows what Bynum and the organization want. He’s productive in the role he plays, he’s affordable and he’s hard-working. If he wanted to come back, the Pistons might consider bringing him back, which would make a player like Jackson redundant.
Jackson also has many of the same issues Bynum has — he occasionally plays out of control, he’s more of a shoot-first player than the classical distributor the Pistons seem to be looking for at the point guard spot and at his size, he’d be a defensive liability against bigger guards.
Still, his production and reputation for being a hard worker are tough to ignore if he’s available in the second round.
From the Experts:
While his lack of size is an issue (he measured 5-foot-10½ in Chicago with just a 5-10 wingspan), he’s an elite athlete (measured with a 42-inch vertical leap in New Jersey), a good scorer and a willing passer. We’ve had him ranked as a first-round pick for the past two months or so, and he vindicated that to a large degree. If a team is willing to look past the size issue, he has a great shot of going in the first round.
Jackson’s excellent shooting form extends to catch and shoot situations, where he is among the most efficient players in this draft class. His shooting form is virtually impeccable, with excellent balance, elevation, and follow through. His elevation allows him to successfully get shots off even when defended, something that would normally be a problem for somebody who is only 5’10".