Jaren Jackson Jr.’s freshman season has been filled with one highlight-reel block after another, and NBA teams likely are taking notice of the Michigan State star. Pundits with a penchant for writing up mock drafts certainly have.
The 2018 NBA Draft isn’t until June 21, but those mock drafts are in full bloom.
ESPN’s latest mock draft, released Tuesday morning, has Jackson going fourth overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A look at where the top prospects might land: pic.twitter.com/oCeKurPTT4
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 20, 2018
Jackson is averaging 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 blocks (third-best in the nation) for a Spartans team that sits in first place in the Big Ten with the league tournament set to kick off Feb. 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bright lights will provide an opportunity for Jackson to showcase his skill set in front of a big audience.
Perhaps Jackson’s most impressive college performance came Jan. 22, when Michigan State beat Illinois 87-74. Jackson scored 21 points on 5-for-6 shooting and hauled in 11 rebounds in addition to blocking 6 shots. He blocked a career-high 8 shots against Rutgers on Dec. 5.
He’s been impressive of late, too, scoring 27 points in Michigan State’s 87-57 win against Minnesota last Tuesday. The Spartans return to action this Tuesday night against Illinois at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.