North Carolina’s Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, hires agent
The lanky 6-foot-8 forward is fresh off yet another All-American season that earned him the ACC Player of the Year award. The junior capped off his 2016-17 campaign by cutting the nets with the Tar Heels earlier in April after securing the NCAA title.
Jackson was an unfathomable 0-for-9 from three in his final game against Gonzaga, but salvaged a 16-point performance and a last-minute dunk to secure the championship, a year removed from a disappointing loss to Villanova in last season’s final.
“My family and I discussed my decision with Coach (Roy) Williams and we agree that declaring for the NBA Draft is best for my career,” Jackson said in a statement on Thursday morning. “I wouldn’t trade anything the last three years as a Tar Heel, especially getting the chance to win a national championship, which was unbelievable. I feel I made a good decision last year to come back for my junior year. That has put me in a much better position as a basketball player and a person. I’m proud to know I will always be a Tar Heel.”
Jackson will be sought-after player because of his ideal size at 6-foot-8, allowing him to play at different positions; his 6-foot-11 wingspan, creativity off the dribble, and his undoubted NBA three-point range — leading the Tar Heels in three-pointers made and attempted this season.
The Tomball, Texas native is slated to go 15th to the Chicago Bulls, according to columnist Chris Rolling of Bleacher Report. These projections could of course change once the lottery positions are determined.
The 22-year-old is the complete package at the small forward position — an improved shooter with range, a crafty scorer with a mystical floater, an excellent perimeter defender, rebounder, and shot-blocker at his position.