This article will analyze the performance of Justin Jackson and what grade he deserves so far in his rookie campaign.
Last summer, the Sacramento Kings invested the fifteenth overall pick in the 2017 draft on Justin Jackson, a wing player from North Carolina. Since then, Jackson has appeared in 45 games this season and is part of the young wave of players that the Kings are building around for the future.
Let us analyze how the former Tar Heel has performed with the purple and white so far.
Jackson’s numbers are not going to sparkle any eyes. He is averaging around six points a night while shooting 42% from the floor and 30% from the perimeter. Not the best numbers considering he gets a decent amount of good looks, specifically from the three-point line.
When it comes to scoring, I think Jackson’s go-to is definitely driving to the basket. He has solid athleticism and good length which allows him to get past defenders and make shots in the paint pretty consistently. Especially when he opts to go with his floating jump shot, a move that looks like he has been working on since he was a kid.
Although Jackson is playing better as of late, he has not been much of an asset for the Kings offensively. He has shown that he can be solid when driving to the paint but has not been able to prove he is a reliable spot-up shooter just yet.
Like most players on the Kings, Jackson has not been good on the defensive side of the ball. For the season, he has a 116.9 defensive rating which is ranked last out of his teammates. He is also averaging a little over two rebounds a night as well.
When watching Jackson, it seems like he is struggling with the speed and strength of the NBA as he gets beat by his opponents often. Hopefully, these are growing pains for the rookie as he does have the physical tools to become a solid defender in the league. But he will have to prove it.
Overall, there is still work to be done for Justin Jackson going forth. I think once he can become a dependable spot-up shooter is when he will find his niche on offense. And once he gets acclimated to the physicality of the NBA is when he can show his worth as a defender.
Although Jackson has not been as great as some of the other young players on his team, I do see the potential in him becoming a solid asset with the Kings for the long haul. He may not be the guy who the team builds around, but he can certainly be a role player who can help uplift this franchise back to relevancy.