This week’s San Antonio Spurs prospect profile features a freshman who has been under the radar for most of the year. That is 6-foot-10, 206-pound forward and center Isaiah Jackson for Kentucky. He has not been much of an offensive threat this season, but his value on defense cannot be denied. He is a shot-blocking machine and alters anything he doesn’t get his mitts on.
He is likely an early to mid-second round pick at this stage in the game. He would have to show more flashes of his offensive capabilities if he wants to move up draft boards and would definitely have to put on more weight. Here are his stats so far this season after 22 games.
- 8.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.7 BPG, 0.7 SPG
- 53.0 FG%, 71.8 FT%
- 25.7 PER, 112.5 ORtg, 90.9 DRtg
Jackson has been gaining steam on mock draft boards after several excellent outings. He has scored in double figures in his last few games and has been showing off an expanding offensive repertoire. He’s got a nice little mid-range game going for him in the second half of this season and has been aggressive on the boards.
His shooting stroke is improving and there is a clear upside to his game that will require a year or two of work in the G-League. However, his NBA-ready skills right now are his motor, rebounding ability, and shot blocking. He could find himself some spots minutes if he is excelling at those three things early on in the process.
Some major improvements Jackson can make are to gain weight, get stronger, and add some offensive playmaking to his skill set. He has a nice little one-dribble pull up that has been getting better, but he will need more than that to play as a power forward or center in the league. He’s going to need to be more consistent from 15 feet and in if he wants to become a bigger part of a team’s offense.
Jackson has been surging up some mock draft boards and is currently No. 20 on Sam Vecenie’s Big Board over at The Athletic. The ceiling is extremely high on Jackson, but it is likely to take a bit of time to get there.