As we do every time the draft comes around for Spartan players, we have reached out to our NBA connections to review the three MSU players considering the draft. Unless Nick Ward official declares and hires an agent so returning is NOT an option, we WILL NOT be publishing our report on him. Today we have (3J) Jaren Jackson, Jr. We asked representatives from seven NBA teams to evaluate all three Spartan players. We asked them the same seven questions. In cases were answers were similar we used the most descriptive.
#1 What intrigued you about their play this year?
Team A: He is so young. So with some many impressive parts of his game, we kept in mind that many kids his age were still in high school. The guy can block any shot, but buys every head fake and gets his foul trouble in the paint.
Team B: He showed flashes of aggression when he drove the basket and people couldn’t stop him when he did it. That was a very bright spot among many.
Team C: How much bigger he go from high school to MSU. Most people don’t believe it is hard to gain weight. He needs bulk and he added a lot that was effort. Love his effort in all he does.
Team D: He has no ego. Defense struggles in the paint, but he is a shot blocker deluxe. Came in as the big recruit and never backed from being that, but took coaching and assimilated to the team really well. Very mature as being a teammate, while being a kid.
Team E: Everything. He has no idea how good he is, but he loves the game. We can’t teach love for the game and work ethic. But if you have that and those tools, you are a rare player.
Team F: His range. Shot blocking. Rebounder.
Team G: Got bigger physically, was a super teammate, fearless but not an egomaniac, great passion for the game.
#2 What did you NOT like about his game?
Team A: Pushed around because of his size.
Team B: Wasn’t afraid of dominating the paint, but almost didn’t even think about it. Many times you can see him not even considering that he is a 6’11” big man. Good rebounder, but again owning the paint wasn’t top of mind.
Team C: Defense was his Achilles heel. I know Izzo took grief taking him out of some games, but he had to. No concerns that he won’t improve, he is very young. But right now the defense is a weak spot.
Team D: Shoots well when not contested, but struggles when guys are playing D on him.
Team E: Dribbling.
#3 Where would you predict he gets picked? Not where would your team pick him?
Team A: Top 5
Team B: Top 5
Team C: Top 5
Team D: Top 3
Team E: Top 5
Team F: Top 3
Team G: Top 3
#4 Do you think it was wise to come out early?
Team A: Of course. Lottery picks that are certain should always and I don’t see any way he gets out of the lottery.*
Team B: Are you kidding? Yes.
Team C: No doubt.
Team D: No brainer, he had no real choice.
Team E: Definitely. Ready right now to play.
Team F: No question he should have.*
Team G: Without any hesitation. Should have last year also. Too much money on the table and the way he uses his athleticism and injury can come anytime. Why risk the money he is going to make.
*Same answer they offered for Miles Bridges
#5 Did you request him to come to the combine? What will you look for there?
Team A: Yes. Inside offense.
Team B: Yes. Ball handling.
Team C: We did not because we have no shot.
Team D: No. He will not be available when we pick.
Team E: No because we know he will be there so we requested some others because not sure how many will ask for them. Will be evaluating him.
Team F: Yes and we want to see him work on some defense.
Team G: If anyone tells you NO to this question, let me know who. I need to be their general manager. Of course. I am certain everyone did.%
*Same answer they offered for Miles Bridges
#6 What is an intangible of this player?
Team A: He is so young, that growing upside is phenomenal.
Team B: Work ethic and love for the game.
Team C: Great kid with no off-court issues. Is that because he is young?
Team D: Want to see if he has worked on shooting when playing against a good defense.
Team E: No intangibles, we just have no shot.
Team F: Came from money and that won’t change him. Want to learn what motivates him.
Team G: His inside game.
#7 If a lottery pick is an A, a 15-20 is a B, 21-30 is a C and a second rounder is a D and not getting picked is a F, what draft grade does your franchise have on him?
Team A: A+
Team B: A+
Team C: A+
Team D: A+
Team E: A+
Team F: A+
Team G: A+
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