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In pulling off what is being lauded across the NBA landscape for remaking the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster on deadline day, first-year general manager Koby Altman managed to find a way to do so without coughing up the team’s most valuable future asset — the much-discussed unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick of the Brooklyn Nets.
To that end, one can expect to see one mock draft after another leading up to the draft on June 21. The draft lottery will be held May 15.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony projects the Brooklyn pick to wind up as being the No. 4 overall selection and has the Cavaliers taking Jaren Jackson. The play shown below presents the type of versatile game Jackson possesses.
Jaren Jackson Jr. holy hell pic.twitter.com/xL64lX2lNc
— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) February 21, 2018
A look at where the top prospects might land: pic.twitter.com/oCeKurPTT4
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 20, 2018
Of Jackson, a 6-foot-11, 242-pound forward from Michigan State University (alma mater of Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert, by the way), whom Givony projects to play the 5 at the next level, he writes:
At 6-foot-11 and 242 pounds, with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, it’s very likely that Jackson will see significant minutes at center in the NBA as his promising frame fills out, rather than at the 4, as he mostly does in college at the moment. Jackson’s ability to space the floor (44 percent from 3; 79 percent from the line), block shots (5.9 per 40 minutes), switch on every screen and, increasingly, put the ball on the floor from the perimeter make him an ideal fit for the modern NBA.
He has significant upside to grow into as well, as he’s the youngest player currently projected to be drafted. Jackson is the exact type of player the Cavs sorely need on their roster right now, but he’d be a terrific building block to have regardless of what LeBron James decides to do.