Josh J

  • Negative remarks from Summer League. Ouch. With the signings of Mikal Bridges and getting Trevor Ariza seems like the Suns already over JJ. What do we think here?

    1. Who was the biggest disappointment?

    Josh Jackson. Granted, Jackson played his usual impressive defense, but instead of working on setting up Ayton, he spent most of his time on offense jacking horrendous shots off the dribble. Jackson shot 24 percent (10-of-41) and that appropriately reflects the quality of the shots he attempted. Yes, summer league is about players expanding their games, but under no circumstances should Jackson or anyone but the best off-the-dribble shooters play as he did.

    Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender. On a Suns team that has added considerable wing depth in Trevor Ariza and Mikal Bridges, poor shooting with twice as many turnovers as assists was less than ideal for the 21-year-old Jackson. He wasn’t short on impressive moments with a couple explosive defensive plays and slashes to the rim, but his hitchy jumper and subpar decision-making stole the headlines in what should have been a breakout tournament for him. However, once the regular season hits, he should be able to slide into more of an off-ball role, focusing on defending his position, getting out in transition, moving off the ball and keeping things simple.

  • @BeddieKU23 without having watched much of the summer league, I think the key for me to this evaluation is “hitchy jumper”. He has no business bricking shots at that clip when he clearly hasn’t improved his form. It wouldn’t be selfish play if his shot was better. It is, after all, a 3-centric universe.

  • @approxinfinity

    I think Phoenix wanted to see what Jackson could do offensively as the primary option. They already have Booker as their primary scorer, and Ayton will get touches in the paint, so Jackson won’t have that same role in the regular season. If Jackson could shoulder the primary scorer load, you have a really special team with Booker, Ayton and Jackson, and the Suns are ready to start thinking about competing. But if Jackson is going to be a defense first player, you know you need one more scorer before you are ready to compete as the Suns. Summer league is all about roles. Jackson was probably asked to be aggressive offensively since he has an established NBA floor with his defense. Now its just a matter of figuring out what he can do offensively.

  • @justanotherfan

    Well we saw the Suns make multiple moves to improve their wing play getting shooters in Bridges/Ariza. Writing is on the Wall, unless JJ just had a bad summer and is a better player in the fall they have already made moves to move on from their 4th pick at some point.

    I’m certainly not trying to say its over for JJ but I don’t think the Suns draft/trade for a wing again in the Lottery and sign Ariza away from Houston without being significantly concerned about JJ’s fit with the Suns. I thought he had some momentum going into Summer League after he ended his rookie season strong. For him to play as badly offensively says a lot.

  • I read an early article where josh was to do a lot of shooting during the summer league. He did, but not well.

  • He was never going to be a star in the NBA without fixing his jumper.

    At this point, the Suns would be best served to just sit him for a year and completely rework him. I’d be interested to see him in a Point/Forward role, or even just making the move completely to PG.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Which we know won’t happen- sitting a year. If he’s never going to be a good shooter he has the Marcus Smart model to follow otherwise?

  • @BeddieKU23 I honestly don’t know what model he follows. My closest comp for him, and what I would find to be his greatest path to success, would be trying to become Shaun Livingston.

  • Josh Jackson shot 26% last year from three. That’s pretty terrible.

    His handles and passing are good enough to be a facilitator (poor man’s Ben Simmons perhaps). That may be the best option for the Suns.

    Last year Ben Simmons attempted just 11 threes. He did not make a single one. He outproduced Josh Jackson for one very simple reason, however. He only shot twos, and he shot most of those near the rim. 99% of his attempts were twos. 78% of his shot attempts were within 10 feet. Only 54% of Jackson’s shots came from that close. Not only that, Simmons shot 74% on shots within 3 feet, while Jackson shot just 58% (NBA average is around 60%). Because of that difference in both distribution and efficiency, Simmons shot 55%, while Jackson shot 42%.

    But Jackson is skilled enough to be a very good finisher inside. If he redistributes his shots to include about 45% from within 3 feet, 75% within 10 feet, and 90% from 2 point overall, his percentages would rise from 42% to about 46% with no improvement in his overall percentages, and his scoring would go up from 13.1 to 14.4 assuming that more shots at the rim would also mean more FT attempts. If FT attempts stayed flat, his scoring would still improve from 13.1 to 13.8. That’s not insignificant. And again, that’s just re-distributing his shots, not improving as a shooter at all. If he got to slightly above league average at the rim and redistributed his shots to around 45% at the rim (let’s say shooting 62% within 3 feet), is worth nearly half a point in scoring to him and gets him above 14 points a game. Add in extra FTs and Jackson is close to 15 a game, which isn’t far off the 15.8 Simmons averaged last season.

  • @justanotherfan did josh finish stronger though?

  • Marcus Smart shots it almost as bad as JJ and he has solid footing in the league because of defense. JJ can follow that same path or work like a mad man on his shot. I think you’ll see his shot improve over the next few seasons.

  • Kcmatt7 said:

    @BeddieKU23 I honestly don’t know what model he follows. My closest comp for him, and what I would find to be his greatest path to success, would be trying to become Shaun Livingston.

    If the #4 pick in the draft is to become Shaun Livingston boy did the Suns miss the boat drafting him. Not a slight to JJ at all but a Top 5 pick should have a ceiling bigger then bench rotation player. Livingston has done well for himself despite injuries. JJ has to fix that shot otherwise he’ll be bouncing around the league

  • @justanotherfan that is exactly what I had in mind. I think the Suns need to move him to play a point-forward position.

  • @BeddieKU23 Part of the problem is definitely his development, or rather who is responsible for his lack their of. Either the Jackson’s are too stubborn to change his shot or the Suns are too stupid to give him the time needed and the coaching to change the shot.

  • Looking at the comments above, it is amazing how much production Coach Self got from Jackson.🏆

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Several reasons for that.

    1. Lower level of athleticism. Jackson is a great athlete that was able to dominate bigger guys with his quickness and overwhelm guards with his size.

    2. Lower level of skill. Jackson is a good ball handler, so he can get where he wants to against collegiate players much more easily than in the NBA. Jackson shot 55% on all twos in college. He shot just 58% at the rim in the NBA.

    3. Shorter three point line. Jackson shot 37% from three in college. He shot about 36% on long twos in the NBA. His shooting didn’t really get worse from that range. It’s just that, with his jump shot issues, stepping out further makes those issues matter a lot more.

    Jackson’s performance in the NBA shows how big the gap is between college and the NBA, even from the P5 level.

  • @justanotherfan

    My point was that the comments appear to indicate a marginal NBA player; however Coach Self made him into the #4 pick, that’s all.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Being even a marginal NBA starter is a tall order, one that most collegiate players wouldn’t achieve.

    Josh Jackson’s athleticism and skill level (non-shooting) guaranteed a certain floor for him at the pro level. He’s both a superb athlete and a good ball handler for his size, with solid passing ability and vision, as well as athletic enough, with a high enough BBIQ to be an above average defender and offensive player.

    Remember how often Josh Jackson just seemed to be in the “right place at the right time?” He has a great understanding of basketball, which he arrived on campus with.

    KU really didn’t change anything for him. He was a top 5 pick either way. Had they fixed his shot, that would have been helpful for him, but his NBA trajectory was neither improved nor harmed in his one year at KU.

  • His arms are so long, particularly his forearms, that his shooting motion appears to be herky-jerky. It’s like the saying about what it takes to get to Carnegie Hall…practice, practice, practice. Shooting is a skill that can be improved, so shooting 24% will motivate him to get better. I will say he is my favorite OAD by far.

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