September 5, 2017, 11:54 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the ninth installment of a brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season. Over the next two months we will be doing a roundtable series which involves all three of our writers here at Hoop Ball Kings. We’ll be discussing various topics including season projections for each player on the Kings roster, record predictions and more.
First and foremost, we will run through every player currently on the Kings roster and provide our personal predictions for their output this season.
Justin Jackson joins Sacramento hot off a national championship with North Carolina. He was one of, if not the best player on the Kings during Summer League and showed everyone how his game can potentially translate to the NBA. In his final year at UNC, he posted averages of 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 32.0 minutes per game (40 games) on 44.3 percent shooting from the field (37.0 percent shooting from three).
He showcased his ability to create offense and knock down open threes during summer league. He has a nice floater too which was almost automatic. Jackson’s game, especially at this stage in his career, is comparable to someone like Omri Casspi; with his 3-point shooting ability and knack for making running floaters. He has all the tools to be a solid player right out of the gate.
However, will the playing time be in order for Jackson during his rookie season? Or will he be a casualty of the Kings’ depth on the wings?
Stat-line Prediction: 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks. 43.2% FG, 39% 3PT, 79% FT.
Jackson will struggle to find playing time in his first season. Guys like Hield, Temple, Bogdanovic and even Carter could all get minutes ahead of the rook. He’s going to get limited time on the court and it’ll be on him to prove his worth and earn more. He could very well end up playing over 15 minutes per game come season’s end, but at this stage he may be looking at a few DNP-CDs early on.
If he does happen to get playing time, he should be quite effective for the Kings. He’ll struggle defensively because of his thin frame, but as a source of offense and his ability to space the floor, he’ll be perfect. Having someone like Vince Carter as a mentor is huge for his development too, so spending some time on the bench watching guys like Carter do their thing won’t be a bad thing at all.
Stat-line Prediction: 6.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks. 45% FG, 32% 3PT, 72% FT.
Jackson turned himself into a solid 3-point shooter while at North Carolina. Whether that will translate to the NBA is yet to be seen. If he can knock down some threes on a regular basis, he’ll do something Ben McLemore was never able to in his years with the team.
Jackson is part of a talented rookie core that looks to change the future of the Kings, but he’ll have less expectations than a player like De’Aaron Fox when the season begins.
He’ll probably have some games where he scores double digits easily and also some where he barely puts up a basket. He showed he could score with ease during Summer League, but also had some hiccups, as most rookies will. Jackson looks to be a streaky player and that could help him or hurt him when it comes to seeing playing time under Dave Joerger.
Stat-line Prediction: 9.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks. 42% FG, 35% 3PT, 74% FT.
Despite being picked 10 spots behind De’Aaron Fox in the 2017 NBA draft, Justin Jackson may have the biggest role of any rookie in the team’s early season rotation. Jackson has the benefit of being one of the more experienced rookies on the roster, and the team’s relative lack of depth at his natural position gives him much less competition than other young players on the roster.
With that said, Jackson isn’t likely to have a huge role in the offense, at least not until he’s proved that he’s earned one. His shooting will be relied on at times, but the coaching staff will also take a strong look at his ability to fit in on both ends of the floor.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.