North Carolina swingman Justin Jackson told SiriusXM NBA Radio Tuesday that he met with Nuggets’ brass at last week’s NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
Jackson, 22, averaged 18.3 points on 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent from three, to go with 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Tarheels in his junior season and was a key cog in North Carolina’s National Championship run that culminated in a 71-65 win over Gonzaga.
The 6-foot-8 swingman played mostly on the perimeter in college due to North Carolina’s surplus of big men and projects as an NBA wing who could play some small-ball four. DraftExpress currently has Jackson projected to go No. 15 overall to the Portland Trail Blazers in their latest mock draft, which was updated after the combine.
Standing 6-foot-8 with a tremendous 6-foot-11 wingspan, Jackson’s supreme length gives him the ability to cover a ton of ground on the defensive end of the floor. Jackson projects as a wing, but could seemingly guard four different positions. He also really developed on the offensive end of the floor during his junior year, upping his scoring by nearly six points per game. Jackson also saw his 3-point percentage jump from 29.2 percent during his sophomore year to a strong 37.0 percent last season. The Tomball, Texas native shot a healthy74.8 percent from the line in 32.0 minutes per game in 2016-17.
The Nuggets are currently slotted, prior to Tuesday night’s lottery, to pick 13th in next month’s draft. Denver has a 2.18 percent chance of moving into the draft’s top-3.