I was a big fan of Josh Jackson at Kansas, the afro was pretty awesome and the guy could jump out of the gym. Going into the draft his biggest weakness was his shooting, he packed athleticism,potential on defense, and potential to be one of the best two way wings in the NBA. Josh Jackson has even failed to become a top 10 small-forward in the NBA and was playing for the Grizzlies’s G-League team. I watched him in highlights through several games and he looked so much better shooting the ball off a cross-over. His handles were in question coming into the NBA but he certainly brushed that area of his game, I though Josh would be tag-teaming with Ja Morant in Memphis and that he would be the Memphis Grizzlies’s secret weapon going into this coming season but Josh Jackson surprisingly signed a 2-year deal with his hometown team.
Most believe the Detroit Pistons will be bottom feeders this coming season but I disagree. Sure they could tank the season for a top 5 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft which could be better than this past draft but I think they will be competitive and challenge for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference at the very least. Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin jump out at you when you look at their roster but at this point those two belong on a team looking to compete at the moment. Josh Jackson might barely get 20 minutes a night this coming season but I would bank on him being part of Casey’s rotation as the Pistons lack depth at small forward, they just signed Jerami Grant who was exceptional for the Denver Nuggets in the bubble as a 3-point shooter and defender and Sekou Doumbouya who was all but impressive this past season. I honestly expected Sekou Doumbouya to show us glimpses of what he could be in the future but his numbers were terrible and I am sure Casey will give Josh Jackson a look at small-forward.
Josh Jackson will more than likely never be a player that shoots in the 38-40 % range but if he can shoot 30-35 % over the next 2 years in Detroit and show that his immaturity is behind him he could have a long-term future in Detroit. Josh Jackson once yelled at TJ Warren for not playing hard enough before the third quarter was over and I was impressed by his competitive drive his problems off the court are what have hampered him so far. 1 year into his NBA career Josh Jackson’s reputation took a hit as he exposed marijuana around his new-born daughter and that almost ruined his career.
Under Jay Tiriano in Phoenix he was able to get more exposure and minutes and went off for 35 points a game in which Devin Booker was out and I kid you not he reminded me of a young LeBron James in that game. He was dribbling the ball full-court finishing at the rim, catching open shooters in transition,and knocking down jumpers off the dribble. He once said the reason he has struggled gaining footing at the NBA level is due to all the different coaches played under in Phoenix, I really thought Josh Jackson was going to round out a Big 3 in Phoenix with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton but the Susn moved on from Josh and moved him to Memphis.
To conclude by no means am I saying Josh Jackson will come out this coming season and average over 20 points per game and play All-NBA defense but the 4th pick of a draft trying to establish yourself in Detroit does not come with pressure. At this point in Josh’s career he has become an afterthought but being that he was one of my favorite players coming out of the NCAA I know the potential he possesses. Jerami Grant is what he is at this point and Sekou Doumbouya I have my concerns about, Josh Jackson? He has untapped potential, the talent is there his biggest problem has been not being in the right environment. There were never any veterans in Phoenix to help keep Josh Jackson accountable or show him the ropes, sometimes in life you learn through trial and error and hopefully Josh has grasped that. He should relish this opportunity and look to help the Detroit Pistons in every way possible, I wouldn’t write about Josh Jackson if I felt he was going to wash away in Detroit and out of the NBA so keep an eye on Josh Jackson this coming season. I’m sure he’ll show us why he was once drafted 4th overall, till next time.