Although the NFL Draft just a couple days away, the buzz surrounding the 2018 NBA Draft is starting to pick up.
With the impressive amount of talented players available in the 2018 NBA Draft — which will take place on June 21 — Sports Illustrated went through the process of ranking the players in its Top 100 big board. The big board was released on Tuesday morning, and Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. was featured high up on the list.
Jackson was the No. 3-ranked player on Sports Illustrated’s big board, as he was ranked behind only Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton (No. 1) and International player Luka Doncic (No. 2).
The official draft paperwork is in and the lottery is near. Here's our Top 100 big board: https://t.co/yYI9qjFFHK
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 24, 2018
Here’s what Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo wrote about Jackson:
“With a projectable frame, above-average mobility and a fast-developing skill set, Jackson put his considerable potential on display this season and played his way among the draft’s top prospects. His shot blocking numbers (5.5 per-40) were off the charts, and teams are intrigued by his ability to protect the rim and defend in space. He shot 39.6% from three (though his mechanics leave a bit to be desired) and has nice touch around the rim with either hand, continuing to develop perimeter skills at an impressive rate. Jackson is more lanky and agile than he is bouncy, but some of his issues keeping up with physical opponents in traffic should be mitigated as he gets stronger. He’s less NBA-ready than some of his peers, as illustrated by the inconsistency he faced this season, but Jackson’s overall outlook is sunny as he gets stronger and matures.”
According to NBA draft projections, if Jackson were to go No. 3 in the NBA Draft, he would likely go to the Dallas Mavericks.
In 35 games with the Spartans in 2017-18, Jackson started 34 games and averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from 3-point range. His 106 blocks last season are a Michigan State record.
In addition to Jackson, there were several other Big Ten players that made Sports Illustrated’s Big Board. Michigan State’s Miles Bridges just missed the Top 10, as he was No. 11 on the list. Maryland’s Bruno Fernando, Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson are ranked No. 22, No. 42 and No. 46 on the list, respectively.
Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop was No. 44, followed closely by Penn State’s Tony Carr at No. 47. Michigan’s Moe Wagner (No. 50) and Charles Matthews (No. 94) made the cut, as did Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ (No. 93). Purdue’s Carsen Edwards (No. 68) and Vincent Edwards (No. 73) made the list, as well.
Here’s a look at the top 10 on Sports Illustrated’s Big Board.
- DeAndre Ayton, Arizona
- Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
- Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
- Marvin Bagley III, Duke
- Mohamed Bamba, Texas
- Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
- Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
- Trae Young, Oklahoma
- Mikal Bridges, Villanova
- Robert Williams III, Texas A&M
To see the full list, click here.