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One NBA GM predicts Josh Jackson will be No. 1 pick

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Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) gets to the bucket past Iowa State guard Monte Morris (11) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) gets to the bucket past Iowa State guard Monte Morris (11) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

With less than a week until the NBA Draft, one team won’t be surprised if former Kansas standout Josh Jackson is selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Boston Celtics.

One NBA general manager, granted anonymity, told ESPN’s draft analyst Chad Ford that he believes Jackson will end up with Boston because he’s the type of player that Celtics team president Danny Ainge covets.

Markelle Fultz, a dynamic point guard, has been linked with the top pick since the Celtics had the lucky ping-pong ball at the NBA Draft Lottery.

"I've picked Danny's brain for years," the anonymous GM told Ford. "Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he's keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I'm convinced they'll take Jackson No. 1."

Jackson canceled a workout with the Celtics earlier this week, but Ford speculates it’s a move that Jackson made because the Los Angeles Lakers or Philadelphia 76ers would give him a larger role.

Jackson recently completed his second workout with the Lakers, who own the No. 2 pick, and he’s visited once with the 76ers, who have the No. 3 pick.

“A number of agents have expressed concerns that the Celtics might not have enough playing time for their clients to develop properly, given the depth and experience of their roster,” Ford wrote, noting former UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball canceled his workout with Boston.

One Celtics official told Ford that canceling the workout won’t have any impact on the team’s considerations with the pick.

Of course, within a week of the draft, there will be several smokescreens on how the Celtics will handle the No. 1 pick, especially after making the Eastern Conference Finals this year. That includes potentially trading the pick.

"We're in dialogue with Boston,” B.J. Armstrong, Jackson’s agent, told ESPN. “We're very respectful of them. They have the No. 1 pick and can select whoever they choose. We just need to see how things play out over the next week.”

Comments

John Fitzgerald 1 week, 3 days ago

Jackson will go top 2, guaranteed. Celtics will either trade pick or trade Thomas to pick Fultz and the Lakers will pick Jackson. If the Celtics trade the first pick, which is doubtful, it'll go likely to the 76ers. But it'd be wise for the 76ers to stay as is (bc their first round in 2018 from the Lakers) and take Monk 1st pick and then Mason 2nd pick. They need shooters to open up their slew of bigs. Either way the draft looks good for Jackson and Mason.

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