Count me in the minority of people that think JJJ has a fairly low ceiling. I mainly see him as a pretty good starter. At best, he looks like a young Ibaka to me. For a guy who goes by the nickname ''DefenseWinsChamps'', you don't seem to value elite defensive potential all that much.
His rebounding numbers at MSU and in Memphis have not been good. His block rate is a bit lower than I thought would be. His offensive game is not refined. He has little feel. He's a good shooter and can sometimes get a little hookshot over his left shoulder, but other than that, he really isn't a scorer. On top of that, his form restricts his ability to develop one-dribble pullups, fade aways, or any of the other shots that make a guy hard to stop.
He's fine. Really. But this isn't a trade that makes a ton of sense for anyone.
The way I see it, JJJ is the best young* big man not named Zion.
*still on his first contract
If there was a re-draft of last year's class, I'd probably take him at #2.
3. probably SGA
I'm super high on all 3 of those guys. Looking back, I guess we were a bit unlucky to end up with #3 and #1 in somehow weak drafts. Don't get me wrong, Danny did a terrific job in drafting Brown-Tatum (especially the trade down for Tatum was a masterpiece). I blame the draft gods, not Danny.
In retrospect, the 2018 draft looks great. There are also guys like Ayton, Trae Young, Bagley, Carter Jr., even Mo Bamba who had a slow start but the potential is still there based on his elite physical tools.
I do value defense, but I'm not as high on his defensive potential as some. His fouls are a real problem and he doesn't rebound at a high level. Good defensive anchors can challenge without fouling and finish possessions on the boards.
He's a good player, but I don't see the franchise upside. I think he will be a really good defender and a very helpful player. He could even be a player on a championship team. I just worry a bit about him.
After all was said and done, having only watched a little of both players last year, I actually liked Ayton's upside on defense more than Jackson's. I know that goes contrary to the narrative of both players, and it was surprising to me as I watched them. I like Jarrett Allen's and Wendell Carter's defensive potential more too.