Celtics Reportedly Interested In Kansas’ Josh Jackson For No. 1 Pick In NBA Draft
The Boston Celtics have been expected to choose Washington guard Markelle Fultz as the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, but now it seems the team is eyeing Kansas swingman Josh Jackson for the top selection.
Celtics May Pick Kansas’ Josh Jackson Instead of Washington’s Markelle Fultz As Top Draft Pick
“We like him a lot,” a Celtics source told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford on Thursday. “But we like several guys a lot. We’ve got a week to figure it out.”
The NBA Draft will be held on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The same source told Ford the Celtics are “strongly considering” other options besides Fultz.
One unnamed general manager stated he is confident the Celtics will pick Jackson at No. 1, and cited his strong familiarity with the team’s general manager Danny Ainge’s draft interests and record. The team earned the No. 1 overall pick in the draft lottery last month.
“I’ve picked Danny’s brain for years,” the general manager said. “Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he’s keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I’m convinced they’ll take Jackson No. 1.”
The Celtics are in most desperate need of offensive power right now. Ainge has already said he intends to keep All-Star Isaiah Thomas on his squad. Jackson can score, but earned many points in college off transition and offensive rebounds. The Jayhawks star shot over 37 percent from the college line.
Jackson cancelled a previously scheduled meeting with the Celtics earlier this week, according to a Monday report from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and Marc J. Spears.
Although the reason for the cancellation remains unknown, Ford cited NBA sources who theorized Jackson and his agent B.J. Armstrong may also be considering joining the Philadelphia 76ers or Los Angeles Lakers, given that their depth charts are more empty.
“We’re in dialogue with Boston,” Armstrong said, via Ford. “We’re very respectful of them. They have the No. 1 pick and can select whoever they choose. We just need to see how things play out over the next week.”
In his most recent mock draft released Wednesday, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman predicted the Celtics would take Fultz at No. 1 overall and the Lakers would select Jackson at No. 2.
Phoenix radio host John Gambadoro tweeted Monday that he also believes the Lakers and Sixers are Jackson’s most likely destinations, particularly the former.
Josh Jackson has been promised – has worked out for Lakers in LA. Has not worked out for Phoenix yet. It could be Philly but likely Lakers.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 12, 2017
Boston is also allegedly interested in Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin, who are set to become free agents this summer.
Here is the full first-round order for the 2017 NBA Draft:
1. Boston (from Brooklyn)
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia (from Sacramento)
5. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)
8. New York
10. Sacramento (from New Orleans)
20. Portland (from Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Brooklyn (from Washington)
23. Toronto (from LA Clippers via Milwaukee)
25. Orlando (from Toronto)
26. Portland (from Cleveland)
27. Brooklyn (from Boston)
28. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston)
29. San Antonio
30. Utah (from Golden State)
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