2023 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks land difference-maker, Victor Wembanyama heads East
By Tyler Watts
26. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers) draft Gregory Jackson II
Jackson II is the youngest player in this class as he does not turn 19 until Dec. 17. The 6’9 forward can handle the ball and make jumpers. He made just 32.4 percent of his 3-pointers this season, but it was a difficult shot profile as South Carolina lacked a true playmaker.
NBA teams are excited about his potential as a stretch four that can knock down open looks and be a versatile defender. Jackson II is not a polished defender or shooter, but there is reason to believe in both skills. His jumper looks clean and he has the size and athletic ability to be an above-average defender. Jackson II will need to add some mass to defend inside, but that should come in time for the teenager.
Rick Carlisle had success developing shooters back in his days in Dallas, and the Pacers seem like the perfect team to take a shot on Gregory Jackson II’s upside. Indiana has three first-round picks in this class, and getting the youngest player with upside as a stretch four will have coach Carlisle excited.
Jackson II likely spends most of his time in the G League next season, but he could be an impactful rotation piece in a few years. His upside will keep him in the first round, despite his playmaking and shot selection issues.