Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Josh Jackson inks rookie deal with Phoenix

Kansas' Josh Jackson, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Phoenix Suns as the fourth pick overall during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York.

Kansas' Josh Jackson, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Phoenix Suns as the fourth pick overall during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York.


Former Kansas standout Josh Jackson this week officially became a member of the Phoenix Suns, signing his rookie contract, which, over four years, is expected to be worth more than $27 million.

The Associated Press reported that the deal Jackson agreed to includes two one-year team options. Jackson will be eligible for a contract extension in 2020 or could become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.

Jackson, who was selected No. 4 overall by the Suns in last month’s NBA Draft, will wear No. 99 with the Suns, at least through Phoenix's summer league schedule.

It remains to be seen why Jackson picked the wild number — he wore No. 11 at KU — and whether he will carry it over into the NBA regular season next fall, but a case could be made for it being the number he thinks would make him most stand out.

After falling to the No. 4 spot in this year’s draft, Jackson made it clear that he firmly believed he went three spots later than he should’ve.

“Of course I'm going to say I'm the best player in this draft,” Jackson said after the draft. “But if you ask those other guys, they're going to say the same thing about themselves, I'm sure. But I just love competition, and I love proving people wrong. I've been drafted to Phoenix, and I'm going to go there and I'm going to make the best of it. I'm going to be the best player I can be. And those teams who didn't draft me, one day they will be sorry.”

Lucas solid in summer league debut

Former Kansas center Landen Lucas, who, as expected, went undrafted during last month's NBA Draft, played his first summer league game with the Boston Celtics on Monday night.

Lucas finished with four rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal while knocking down one of two free throws in nine minutes of action. He was the first big man off the bench to check into the game for Boston, which defeated Philadelphia, 89-88.

Lucas did not attempt a shot from the floor and two of his four rebounds came on the offensive end.

Summer league names of note

Despite a handful of established players and a few others still searching for their next stop via free agency, Kansas basketball will be well represented during the three NBA summer league sessions this month.

Here's a quick look at the former Jayhawks who will be playing with NBA summer league squads, including one blast from the past who has not been heard from in quite a while: Frank Mason III - Sacramento, Josh Jackson - Phoenix; Perry Ellis - Minnesota; Landen Lucas - Boston; Wayne Selden Jr. - Memphis; and Julian Wright - Utah.


Tracey Graham 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm looking forward to see Josh in the Las Vegas Summer League. The Suns' 1st game is against The Kings, so maybe Josh and Frank will be on the floor at the same time. The game's on ESPN2 on July 7.

Speaking of Mason, his chances at playing time just got reduced. The Kings just signed George Hill to a 3-year deal. Hill will likely be the starting PG, which pushes De'Aaron Foxto 2nd string and Frank to 3rd string. And since Sacramento has several SGs that will need PT, I doubt they will pair Hill & Fox (or Fox & Mason) together much. I was hoping that Frank would get some real PT in the NBA this season, but right now it appears he might end up either stuck on the bench or spending a lot of his time in the G (formerly D) League.

Dale Stringer 4 years, 6 months ago

From what I've read in the Sacramento Bee newspaper, it looks like Frank is above Fox in pecking order right now.

The Kings brought in Hill to bring the new guys along and have someone on the roster that has played on a winning NBA team. They've already starting dumping last year's PGs.

Adrian Meneses 4 years, 6 months ago

Also to give props to Lucas, he looked really good when he was out there. I didn't realize it was him till they had a time out with "not NBA" type cameras and what not. He was battling for rebounds and playing within himself which is a good sign since he's in with new players & team etc...Shows he's learned perhaps from the start of last season when he had new players around him plus more added responsibility. Which at first him seemed overwhelmed by him trying too hard and underachieving for the team till he found him comfort level and started playing heady IQ basketball which if he plays his cards right could land on a team ahead of some others who might be more athletic but not as smart!

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