Draft Profile: Josh Jackson

2017 Draft Profile Series presented by Putnam Investments

Josh Jackson
G | 6'8" | 207 LBS.16.3 PPG | 7.4 RPG | 3.0 APG

* Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author(s) and don't represent the opinions of the Celtics front office.


Why You Might Know Him

If you pay any attention to college recruiting services, the name Josh Jackson should certainly ring a bell. Rivals, Scout and 247Sports all ranked the 6-foot-8 guard as the top recruit in the high school class of 2016. Jackson lived up to the hype during his lone season at Kansas, as he put together one of the best all-around freshman seasons in program history by averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Scouting Report

Possessions Scouted from 2016-17 Season:
OFFENSE: 21.0 percent of possessions
DEFENSE: 20.0 percent of possessions

There is no more natural small forward with high upside in this year’s Draft than Josh Jackson. He has a natural, strong build for the position and showcases every ability a team would want out of its starting wing. Jackson is a physical player. He’s an outstanding rebounder for his position, with excellent timing and natural tracking of the ball. Jackson showcases flashes of greatness offensively, as he can take the ball off the dribble with either hand and can create quality shots off of drives, pull-ups and post ups. He finishes through contact. His shot needs some work, though he shot it well at Kansas. I think his motion can be tightened to his body a bit, and doing so may improve his percentages and consistency. Jackson is a quick decision-maker; he reads defenses and makes decisions at an advanced pace and there is no hesitation to either pass, drive or shoot. However, many of those decisions are poor as he tends to force things. He is turnover prone but that can be cleaned up with quality coaching. He executes plays well and reads defenses well off the ball. Jackson’s reaction time, strength and athleticism give him high-end defensive abilities. He can defend most, if not all, positions. He has great feet and agility. He communicates well defensively, and he anticipates well in help situations.


Joshua O’Neal Jackson was born Feb. 10, 1997 in San Diego, California. He was raised by his mother, Apples Jones, and his late stepfather, Clarence Jones. Jackson attended Consortium College Prep School in Detroit, Michigan for two years, before moving to Napa, California to attend Justin-Siena High School and play for Prolific Prep Academy. During his freshman year at Consortium, Jackson averaged 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 blocks per game. He then broke out as a sophomore when he averaged 28.0 PPG, 15.0 RPG and 6.0 APG, all while leading the program to its first state title. Jackson didn’t skip a beat when he transferred programs, as he averaged 31.2 PPG, 17.6 RPG, 5.4 APG and 2.3 steals per game during his junior season at Prolific Prep. He then averaged 26.9 PPG, 13. RPG and 6.3 APG as a senior during the 2015-16 season. Jackson developed a well-decorated history with USA Basketball, having won gold medals at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship. Following his senior season, Jackson participated in the Nike Hoop Summit and the McDonald’s All-American game. During the latter exhibition, he logged a game-high-tying 19 points and earned co-MVP honors along with Duke commit Frank Jackson. Josh Jackson was widely considered to be the top recruit in the nation for the high school class of 2016. Rivals, Scout and 247Sports all ranked him No. 1 overall, and he earned the No. 2 overall ranking from ESPN. He committed to play at the University of Kansas, choosing the Jayhawks program over Arizona and Michigan State. Jackson immediately made an impact at Kansas as he logged one of the best freshman campaigns in the program’s rich history. The 6-foot-8 guard averaged 16.3 PPG (second all-time among Jayhawk freshmen), 7.4 RPG, 3.0 APG and 1.7 SPG, all while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from 3-point range. He set the program’s freshman record for double-doubles (13) and field goals made (220), while tying the rookie mark for total rebounds (258). Jackson was one of the top overall performers in the Big-12, as he ranked third in field goal makes fifth in field goal percentage, fifth in total rebounds, tied for fifth in steals (59), and sixth in points (572). Jackson led the Jayhawks to a 28-4 regular season record, which allowed them to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and eventually earn the No. 4 ranking in the final USA Today Coaches Poll. Jackson nearly mirrored his regular season averages during the tourney as he tallied 16.3 PPG and 8.5 RPG. Jackson guided Kansas to wins in each of the first three rounds, but he was limited to just 10 points during the Elite 8 as the Jayhawks fell to third-seeded Oregon, 74-60. On April 17, Jackson opted to forego his sophomore season as he declared for the 2017 NBA Draft.