Phoenix Suns Select Josh Jackson Fourth Overall

by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns tonight selected Kansas forward Josh Jackson with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

“We really like Josh’s talent. We love his fit for our roster,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “If you look at every team’s roster and which player in this draft fits a team the best, we think the fit with Josh Jackson to the Phoenix Suns is perfect.”

Jackson, an intense competitor and athletic two-way player, was a 2017 Wooden All-America selection and the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in his lone season at Kansas. At 6-8 and 207 pounds, the 20-year-old utilized his all-around game to help the Jayhawks win a Big 12 title, averaging 16.3 points on 51.3 percent shooting, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks over 35 contests. With the versatility to play multiple positions, Jackson can create for himself and his teammates on the offensive end while possessing the ability to be elite on the defensive end.

“I think the fact that he was drafted fourth in this draft will motivate him even more,” McDonough said. “Just getting to know him over the past couple months and watching him play, I think he feels he’s the best player in this draft class. My guess is he will try to set out to start proving that when we go up to Las Vegas and start Summer League.”

Born in San Diego and raised in Detroit, Jackson completed his high school career at Prolific Prep in Napa, California. A McDonald’s High School All-American, Jackson has won three gold medals with USA Basketball, earning gold at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. During his one season in Lawrence, he broke or tied four Kansas freshman records with 13 double-doubles, 220 field goals made, 429 field goals attempted and 258 rebounds (tying former Suns forward Danny Manning’s mark set in 1984-85).