Josh Jackson profile
Drafted #4 in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Suns
RCSI: 1 (2016)
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)
Weight: 203 lbs (92 kg)
Position: SF/PF
High School: Prolific Prep Academy (California)
Hometown: Southfield, MI
AAU: 1 Nation
College: Kansas
Current Team: Raptors
Win - Loss: 25 - 57
Josh Jackson 2017 NBA Draft Scouting Video - Strengths


Comparing and Contrasting the Prospects of Tatum, Jackson and Isaac

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jun 21, 2017, 02:52 pm
Josh Jackson - The Wildcard
While Tatum and Isaac have fairly high floors - albeit for different reasons - Jackson is much more of a wild card. An edgy, explosive, often emotional prospect with an erratic jumper and a mentality that straddles the border of intensity and instability, Jackson is a bit of an enigma. When he's at his best, Jackson looks like a potential #1 pick, a star in the making. On a fairly small sample, the Michigan native shot 39%, 48% and 40% from beyond the arc in January, February, and March, respectively, knocking down jumpers off the dribble and the catch, despite his somewhat untraditional stroke. When he's shooting it well, Jackson doesn't have many holes. More of a 3/2 than Tatum, who is a 3/4, and Isaac, a four who can play occasional three and five, Jackson is explosive, has positional size, can handle in the open floor, has impressive vision on the move, and is the ultimate competitor defensively and on the glass.

There's a lot to like about Jackson, who could very will fill an Andre Iguodala type role as a defend-slash-and-pass style prospect on a competitive team. While not quite as wide shouldered or long as Iguodala, they certainly have some similarities in terms of explosiveness, passing ability, grit on the glass and defensive end, and overall versatility, despite not being the most gifted half court scorers.

Comparing their stats at the same age (Iguodala a sophomore, Jackson a freshman), Jackson was actually a more prolific and efficient scorer, more accurate shooter (small sample), and more productive in terms off ball defensive stat-stuffing, with both playing big roles on very competitive teams. Iguodala, a more gifted passer and ball-handler, appeared to have a more projectable spot-up stroke as well, despite his pedestrian 3-point shooting numbers. Although he's often reluctant from three nowadays, Iguodala is a career 34% 3-point shooter at the NBA level, and if Jackson is able to duplicate that, he could very well follow a similar career path as a high-level role-playing two-way starter who can playmake, attack in a straight line, and make enough spot threes to keep the defense honest.

Playing mostly the four (like Tatum and Isaac), Jackson actually showed a decent amount of shot creation prowess, despite his underwhelming isolation and pick and roll numbers. While not the most polished ball handler, he has good rise on his pull up jumper, and had some excellent moments versus NBA-level combo forwards like Miles Bridges of Michigan State. When Jackson is dialed in, he looks like an elite role-playing starter with considerable upside, especially given the level of intensity and fearlessness he plays with.
When Jackson's jumper isn't falling, however, (which was reportedly often the case during most of his private NBA workouts), he really struggles to score in the half court. He's fairly thin framed, not overly long, a bit rigid in terms of his breakdown off the dribble game, and not full of touch inside the arc. The former Jayhawk likes to live on the wild side, as well, which creates somewhat of a feast or famine product on the offensive end.
Jackson's lack of overall discipline shows up on the defensive end at times as well. While competitive and quick twitch, he likes to gamble or get out of position, and has trouble defending without fouling for stretches. The fact that he's not quite as tall/long as Isaac, or wide shouldered as Tatum may limit his ability to play extended minutes at the four. How does he score versus NBA wings if his shot isn't falling?
Overall, Jackson is going to defend, be athletic in transition, crash the glass, move off the ball, and facilitate at an above average rate for his position. But even with all that, it's hard to predict what Josh Jackson NBA fans will get on a nightly basis on the offensive end. He deserves credit for the clip at which he shot it at Kansas. His 56% free throw percentage (often a great indicator of future 3-point percentage) is alarming, but that shouldn't retract from the number of tough shots he made at Kansas, and prior to his time in Lawrence.
Josh Jackson is truly a wildcard in this draft, apparent by the wide variety of opinions about him among scouts, executives and NBA draft pundits. Some see an explosive competitor with the potential to become a star in his own right, others peg him as a non-shooter with average length and an erratic style of play. Jackson may not be as safe as guys like Tatum or Isaac, but if he can be a passable shooter, and continue to channel his emotion in a positive way, he could be one of the best prospects to come out of this draft.
So who is the best prospect among the three? They're all so different, it really depends on what a team is looking for. If a GM wants a polished scorer and long-time NBA starter who could very well average at least 20 points per game for the majority of his career, Tatum is the guy. If he wants a multi-positional defender who rebounds, protects the rim, switches everything, stays in his lane, and can make a spot three, Isaac is the one. If he wants a ferocious competitor with game-changing athleticism, defensive grit, versatility offensively and a chance to be more than just a role-playing starter, Jackson is the guy.
That's the beauty of these three as a group - they all bring something different to the table. While the guards have gotten most of the attention, and rightfully so, Tatum, Isaac and Jackson all have very bright futures, each bringing something different to whatever NBA team drafts them.

Josh Jackson NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Analysis

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Apr 03, 2017, 03:59 pm
Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz 

The Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and a First-Team All-Conference member, Josh Jackson had a highly productive season on one of the top teams in college basketball. Kansas went 31-5 and won the Big 12 in dominant fashion, but bowed out of the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight to Oregon.

Jackson's physical profile is a mixed bag. He has very good size for the wing at 6'8, and is a quick-twitch and highly explosive athlete who plays above the rim with ease and covers ground seamlessly defensively. With that said, his small hands, 6'10 wingspan and narrow 207 pound frame may limit his effectiveness playing the small-ball power forward role he was so successful filling in college, and the fact that he's an older freshman at 20 years old makes you wonder how much more strength his frame will carry down the line.  


Nevertheless, it is Jackson's defense and overall competitiveness that is one of his most attractive traits. He's a fiery guy who has been a two-way player his entire career, and showed the ability to guard anywhere from 1-4 in college. Jackson takes great pride in his ability to shut down opponents, and does an outstanding job of sitting down in a stance, sliding his feet and locking up players on the perimeter with his lateral quickness, often drawing charges. He's a physical player who throws his body around and isn't afraid to mix things up despite his lanky frame. Even if he isn't the longest player around, he gets in the passing lanes frequently with his quickness and anticipation skills, and also rebounds and blocks shots prolifically with outstanding timing. He'll need to get stronger to handle the bigger and more experienced players he'll encounter at times in the NBA, and is a little spastic at times gambling and getting lost off the ball, but his combination of intensity, athleticism and instincts leaves a great deal of room for optimism in his upside on this end of the floor.   

Offensively, Jackson found quite a bit of success at the college level, scoring 21 points per-40 minutes on solid shooting percentages (55% 2P%, 38% 3P%). He's not the most skilled player around, but finds ways to be productive within the team concept by getting out in transition, making spot-up jumpers, cutting off the ball, and mixing in timely offensive rebounds and post-ups.  Jackson is a versatile offensive player who shows the ability to be effective operating both on and off the ball, as well as contribute as a scorer or facilitator. He has a strong first step attacking closeouts in the half-court, or getting downhill in the open floor, using long strides, polished footwork and slithery body control, regularly going coast to coast pushing the ball himself off of defensive rebounds. He also shows a nice feel for cutting into open spaces and making himself available for lobs, and has excellent instincts crashing the offensive glass, exploding off two feet and throwing his body around impressively.  

Jackson is a streaky shooter, but really found his rhythm as the season moved on. He started the season making just 9 of his first 38 attempts in the first ten weeks, but finished on a blistering note, knocking down 25 of his last 52 tries in the final two months. Overall, Jackson made a solid 39% of his catch and shoot jumpers, rising up with good balance, despite his very funky shooting mechanics that may need to be overhauled over time. 

He doesn't shoot the ball the same way attempt-to-attempt, bringing the ball up from his hip, with his elbow flailing out and releasing it from the outside of his hand without much of a wrist snap, sometimes shooting it on the way down.  Jackson made just 57% of his free throw attempts this season, and is a career 56% from the line on over 230 attempts in our database, which when combined with his mechanics, leaves a lot of question marks about just how good of a shooter he can become long term. 


Jackson struggled in particular shooting the ball off the dribble in the mid-range this season, hitting just 20% of his attempts according to Synergy, which really limited his effectiveness as a shot-creator in the half-court. He made just 28% of his field goal attempts in pick and roll or isolation situations, doing so against collegiate power forwards with three knockdown shooters alongside him. Teams drafting a wing player this high in the draft are typically hoping to find someone who can carry a heavy shot-creation burden, which Jackson does not appear to be comfortable doing at this early stage in his development.  

His ball skills are somewhat rudimentary, with a high handle and a bit of a wild streak, often picking up his dribble in tough spots in the half-court. He shows average touch around the basket on finishing attempts off complex moves, partially due to his small hands, narrow frame and the lack of extension he gets around the rim with his just-average wingspan. His inability to make pull-up jumpers consistently hurts him, as defenses like to sag off him and bait him into long 2-pointers, an area of his game he really struggles with at the moment.  

With that said, Jackson shows encouraging flashes of effectiveness creating off the bounce at times, changing gears powerfully in the open court with excellent body control, using shot-fakes, driving with his head up, and being highly creative with his ability to find teammates for easy baskets. He's a highly unselfish player with impressive court vision who uses both hands and sides of the floor taking advantage of his ability to see over the top of the defense, and can make a variety of types of passes to help facilitate.  He has as a long way to go to become an efficient and consistent shot-creator, but he certainly shows you enough flashes as a freshman to indicate he can improve significantly in time thanks to his athleticism and strong basketball IQ.

 Every NBA team would love to bring into their organization an athletic, unselfish, competitive two-way player who loves to do the little things to help win games and makes teammates better. Still, there are some red flags they will need to explore before they are ready to pull the trigger. Jackson lets his emotions get the best of him at times on and off the court seemingly, as he was involved in a few incidents in his short time in Lawrence that will require some more research. His body language leaves something be desired at times, especially with the temper he shows towards referees. He struggled with foul trouble in plenty of Kansas' games, and got called for a handful of technical fouls that seemed to indicate he still has some maturing to do.  

Nevertheless, the fact that Jackson wears his heart on his sleeve and plays as hard as he does regardless of the setting or who is in front of him bodes very well for his future. This is a trait that NBA teams love about him, as is the fact that he isn't reliant on his scoring ability in order to contribute. Even if his offense isn't there on a given night, he always gives you the defense, hustle, rebounding and passing component, which is attractive alongside the right type of players. Jackson has a very high floor, and plenty of upside to grow into given his athleticism, basketball IQ, versatility and competitiveness, which should all but guarantee him a spot in the top five of this year's draft.

Josh Jackson vs Miles Bridges Matchup Video

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mar 20, 2017, 02:43 pm
Freshmen combo forwards Miles Bridges and Josh Jackson went head to head on Sunday, in what was arguably the best matchup of the weekend for NBA scouts to evaluate from a positional standpoint. Both players had strong showings.

Jackson and Bridges have been friends since the fifth grade. Bridges recruited Jackson heavily to Michigan State, but saw him end up commiting to Kansas over the Spartans (and Arizona, who were also heavily involved, which only increased the stakes of this matchup.

Josh Jackson - Point Forward

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Dec 14, 2016, 10:14 am
Kansas freshman wing Josh Jackson has impressed with his playmaking ability through 10 games. Mike Schmitz analyzes the many different ways Jackson has been able to find teammates with his extraordinary court vision, with an emphasis on what we can learn about him from an NBA perspective.

Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

Top NBA Prospects in the Big 12, Part One: Josh Jackson Scouting Video

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Sep 20, 2016, 08:38 am
Mike Schmitz kicks off our coverage of the top NBA prospects in the Big 12 with a video scouting report of the #1 prospect in the conference, Kansas' Josh Jackson.
More DX Conference Previews
-The Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East
-The Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12


Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

Stephen Curry Select Camp Scouting Reports

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jul 02, 2016, 10:36 am
Soon-to-be Kansas freshman wing Josh Jackson, who's rated by some recruiting services as the top player in the 2016 high school class, stood out thanks to his combination of explosiveness, toughness, competitive fire, and passing ability at 6' 8”. When Jackson was on the floor, the level of play and overall intensity was elevated. Because of the edge he plays with, other players were forced to raise their level of play.

With good size, long strides, and quick feet, Jackson covers a lot of ground on defense and was able to ignite the break both in the passing lanes and on the defensive glass, where he's a regular contributor. He looked very comfortable whipping the ball ahead or pushing himself to find a teammate or finish above the rim himself. At this stage Jackson is more of a ‘slash and pass' wing in the half court, where his strong first step, nice body control and ability to use both hands to finish and pass serve him well.

Jackson's jump shot is still a major work in progress, however – 28.6% from 3 (42 attempts) and 55.2% from the free throw line (58 attempts). As has been the case in the past, he's much more comfortable off the dribble than off the catch, and will regularly turn down open looks for tough contested pull-ups. While he gets solid rotation and has some natural touch, there's unnecessary motion in Jackson's ‘windup', and it will be interesting to see how he can progress as a shooter at Kansas, as that will be the key to unlocking his NBA potential.

Jackson's frame hasn't changed all that much, and he also has room to improve his advanced handle on the perimeter, where he's mostly a straight-line driver, aside from an occasional crossover and spin move to get to a right-handed push shot.

Lastly, while Jackson's fire is certainly a positive, he can be a bit too emotional in his reactions and allows his passion to get the best of him at times.

All in all there's plenty to like about Jackson's physical profile, mentality, slashing, defensive impact, and passing ability. Jackson's progression as a jump shooter and overall shot creator will end up being the difference between whether he's able to emerge as a top 2017 NBA Draft pick, or projects as more of an elite-level role player on the wing.

Nike Hoop Summit Scouting Reports: Wings

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Apr 12, 2016, 09:45 am
Mike Schmitz

-Good height for a wing at 6' 7.75”
-Impressive athlete. Excellent in transition with or without the ball. Explosive leaper in space.
-Strong straight-line slasher. Fairly long strides with good body control. Doesn't have the tightest handle but he can play with the ball.
-Shows strong court vision both in the half court and transition. Not a selfish player.
-Active cutter. Moves without the ball.
-Doesn't shy away from contact around the rim.
-Plays with toughness. Likes to compete. Excellent rebounder for his position.
-Very willing defender. Can chase shooters. Good feet on the ball. Takes on the challenge of stopping his man. Impressive instincts and anticipation off the ball.

-Doesn't have elite length relative to his height – 6' 9.75” wingspan.
-Hasn't added much strength over the past year and a half. Doesn't have the widest frame.
-Funky shooting stroke. Relies on elevation, big dip of the ball. More comfortable shooting off the dribble than the catch. Limits his scoring in the half court.
-Comfortable with the ball but doesn't have the tightest handle.
-Can get a bit wild. Takes contested pull ups early in the clock.
-Emotional player who can be very outwardly demonstrative with his teammates at times

Outlook Jackson arrived late and missed about half of the practices (finishing up academic work) but was still able to make his presence felt. While he's not the most polished offensive player, Jackson's explosiveness, potential as a passer, defense, and toughness on the glass were all on display. For Jackson to maximize his potential and be seen by NBA executives as a future top draft pick he'll have to continue making strides as a jump shooter while finding more ways to score in the half court.

2016 Nike Hoop Summit: USA Junior National Select Team Measurements

Apr 08, 2016, 12:44 pm
Height (w/ shoes): 6-7.75
Weight: 203
Wingspan: 6-9.75

Josh Jackson's measurements are virtually identical to the numbers he's posted over the last two years. He isn't freakishly long, but otherwise has prototypical size for a wing at the next level to go along with outstanding overall athleticism. His ability to pack muscle onto his frame will be a point of interest moving forward as he remains on the skinny side.

2016 McDonald's All-American Dunk Contest Compilation

Mar 29, 2016, 09:15 am

2015 FIBA U19 World Championship Scouting Reports: Small Forwards

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jul 09, 2015, 10:51 am
Jonathan Givony

-Has great size for the wing at 6-7 without shoes, with a 6-10 wingspan
-Added 10 pounds to frame in last year. Now up to 203 pounds. Looks like he should be able to continue to fill out more in time
-Tremendous athlete. Quick twitch. Fast. Explosive. Flies all over the court
-Amazing potential defensively. Can guard up to four positions. Great lateral quickness. Plays with a very high motor.
-Great instincts and anticipation skills in passing lanes. 3.3 steals per -40. Also blocks shots regularly, 1.4 per-40.
-Tracks down loose balls regularly on the glass. Excellent rebounder for a wing. 11.4 rebounds per-40 at U19s. 14.6 last summer at U17s. Especially impressive on offensive glass with quick second bounce and high motor
-Finds ways to score without plays being called for him. Got almost all his offense playing off the ball. Crashing offensive glass, running floor in transition, cutting off the ball
-Extremely effective in transition with combination of ball-handling, athleticism, length and motor
-Perimeter shooting stroke is showing serious progress. Didn't make a single 3-pointer in nearly 140 minutes of action at the U17s, but made 50% of his 3s at the U19s on a decent volume. Better shooting off the dribble at the moment than with feet set. But did a little bit of both in Crete
-Unselfish player. Makes extra pass. Shows some nice creativity with the ball, especially on the move
-Grabs rebounds and goes coast to coast

-Frame has a ways to go. Lower body in particularly is very skinny
-Perimeter stroke still has room to improve. 61% from free throw line at U19s. Career 57%. Not always on balance
-Reluctant shooter at times
-Needs to improve his advanced ball-handling skills. Dribble is a bit high. Fairly turnover prone trying to create own shot in the half-court.
-Struggles to get all the way to the basket. Can't always finish everything he creates due to lack of strength and polish
-Plays off his talent, not always off fundamentals. Can get a bit wild and out of control on both ends of the floor. Lives off his instincts. Somewhat tense and unpredictable. Shot-selection isn't always great
-Bites on pump-fakes. Gambles in passing lanes
-Body language isn't always great. Constantly talking to referees. Very emotional and reactive on the court
-At least a year old for his high school class. Will turn 20 during his freshman season in college.

Outlook: Super versatile wing player. Plays every position on the floor depending on which level he's operating at. Does a little bit of everything. Still raw and unpolished, but shows great flashes of talent in many different areas. Unselfish player who is extremely competitive defensively. Still remains to be seen just how high his ceiling is offensively, but at the very least will be a super versatile all-around player.

See Also: Josh Jackson Interview at U19 World Championship

Josh Jackson 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship Interview

Jul 09, 2015, 10:40 am
An interview with USA wing Josh Jackson at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Crete.
-Ivica Zubac Interview
-Georgios Papagiannis Interview
-Tyler Dorsey Interview
-Furkan Korkmaz Interview
-Terrance Ferguson Interview

(Video may not load with Internet Explorer. Use Chrome or Firefox)

2015 USA Basketball U19 Measurements Released

Jun 15, 2015, 08:29 pm
-Standout small forward Josh Jackson has nice size for a small forward at 6'8.25 in shoes with an average 6'9.75 wingspan and a 203-pound frame he's added 19 points to since the summer of 2013. Likely playing some shooting guard at the NBA level down the road thanks to his ball-handling and passing ability, Jackson's 8'9.75 standing reach is outstanding for that position, just a little over an inch below that of Paul George's 8'11 mark from 2010 and well above the average for a first round pick drafted SF of 8'8. Shooting guards on average have an 8'4 reach, so if Jackson can find a consistent outside shot, he will have a significant advantage at that position.

2014 Elite 24 Interviews: Josh Jackson

Aug 23, 2014, 06:26 pm

Latest results

04/14/2024 103 - 118 at Heat Heat
04/12/2024 103 - 125 at Heat Heat
04/10/2024 102 - 106 at Nets Nets
04/09/2024 123 - 140 vs Pacers Pacers


DraftExpress Shop