Jaren Jackson has a case to be top pick over Luka Doncic, DeAndre Ayton
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Jaren Jackson has a case to be top pick over Luka Doncic, DeAndre Ayton

DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic

It’s been pretty much a foregone conclusion over the last few months that the top pick for the NBA Draft should be a decision between DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic.

Ayton measures off the charts physically and in terms of potential while Doncic is an incredibly accomplished European star for his young age.

But if you watch these NBA playoffs, as pointed out by Dave King, managing editor of SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun, Jaren Jackson may also have a case to be made as the first pick. (H/T Reddit user u/uncle_dirk):

“Watching these high level playoff games, teams and fans saw how no one over 7-feet or someone with glaring defensive liability having an impact against the likes of Warriors or Rockets. They can easily talk themselves into saying someone like Jaren Jackson Jr or Bamba might be more suitable to play against the Warriors than Ayton or Doncic, both might very well be played off the floor when going against the Warriors. The truth is, no SINGLE player a team can draft can neutralize the Warriors. You will have to wait for them to fade.”

This is an absolutely great point made by King. It’s hard to watch these last two rounds, especially the Western Conference Finals, and not notice the irrelevancy of the centers and the true value of interchangeable players.

Jackson and Mo Bamba fit that mold the best among the upcoming lottery picks.

A team like the Suns, with so many pieces to add before they can seriously compete for a title, can’t necessarily think that way though. It’s understandable that Ayton represents so much potential and is worth a shot.

It will be interesting to see how the league continues to evolve and if the trend of players like Jackson and Bamba fitting nicely into the conference finals and Finals keeps up.