“I think I bring toughness, versatility, being able to guard 1 through 4 on the defensive end,” Jackson said, “and also being able to play the 1 through 4 on the offensive end.
“And as I watch today’s NBA basketball, versatility is probably the most important thing in this league today. I think it’ll be really special.”
With a front line that include multi-talented Dragan Bender, who can defend 3-5, and Marquese Chriss, who can also defend 3-5, having a wing defender like Jackson can make all the difference for the Suns in the future.
Bender (19 years old), Chriss (19), Booker (20) and Jackson (20), the Suns now have a core with positional clarity AND versatility on the front line.
And, Jackson brings an edge to the game.
“I don’t think the other guys in this draft really care as much as I do,” Jackson said. “I don’t think they play as hard as I do, period. I think that’s what really makes me special. I refuse to fail, period.”
Jackson talked about being able to fit with any of the teams at the top of the draft, but really likes the core of the Suns.
“I felt like the player I am, I could fit anywhere,” Jackson said. “But when I look at Phoenix and I see that they are so young and kind of need a three, somebody to come in and play that spot, and I feel like that’s my favorite position to play. That’s where I’m most comfortable.”
Well, the Suns still have T.J. Warren (23) at the small forward position, and I do think they can co-exist. But I’m glad the Suns don’t have to have Warren and Booker pairing up on the wing for 30 minutes a night going forward, as I wrote about last summer. Booker needs a defensive demon next to his sublime scoring, and Jackson fits that bill.
Jackson has no shortage of confidence.
“I just love competition, and I love proving people wrong,” Jackson said. “Those teams that didn’t draft me, one day they will be sorry.”
Who is Jackson dying to play against?
“Draymond Green, of course,” Jackson said. “I’ve been knowing him for a long time now. He’s kind of exactly how I am in terms of being competitive and a little bit of trash talking.”
Okay, so don’t use your legs the same way Dray does ok, JJ?