Bleacher Report named Josh Jackson one of the five most disappointing NBA sophomores. “Disappointing” is the perfect word for Jackson this season.
Despite playing a bit better as of late, Josh Jackson still hasn’t been the player the Phoenix Suns were hoping he’d be when they made him the fourth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Here’s part of what Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman had to say about Jackson:
After Josh Jackson averaged over 17.0 points and shot near 45.0 percent in both March and April of last season, the arrow was pointing up heading into Year No. 2.
It’s back down again. He’s losing minutes to rookie Mikal Bridges, who’s No. 24 among NBA small forwards in real plus-minus while Jackson ranks No. 80 of 86.
The 2017 No. 4 pick, one before De’Aaron Fox, the Sacramento Kings’ budding star, is shooting just 38.6 percent from the floor, 46.9 percent inside 10 feet, 31.0 percent on pull-ups and 29.1 percent from three. He continues to experience problems shooting and finishing.
Wasserman’s thoughts do a good job of capturing exactly what is so frustrating about this season for Josh Jackson.
There really isn’t anything Jackson can’t do. He can score from everywhere. But he can’t score consistently from anywhere. It’s like the ability is there but he’s not even close to putting it together.
The question coming into this season was whether the real Josh Jackson was the one who struggled during the first half of his rookie year or the one who played well to finish it off. So far, it’s not looking like the answer is the one we wanted.
The Phoenix Suns traded up to draft a player at Jackson’s position, which was already overcrowded. And now Mikal Bridges is playing more minutes than Jackson despite having a year less experience and being drafted six spots later.
Of course, Wasserman also points out De’Aaron Fox, the player who the Suns should have drafted in hindsight. He’s been much better and plays a position of need.
In a larger context, Jackson is becoming another Suns draft bust. Just as clearly as Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are emerging as long term building blocks, Jackson is showing he isn’t one. And because of that, the Phoenix Suns are still at least one elite young talent away from moving out of rebuilding mode.
The word “disappointing” is a perfect way to describe Josh Jackson’s second NBA season.