Yup it’s that time of the year: Mock Draft season.
NBA Draft expert Chad Ford (insider) has the Los Angeles Clippers taking Baylor guard Pierre Jackson 25th overall in the 2012-13 NBA Draft. Here’s his reasoning why:
The Clippers can’t afford to keep Eric Bledsoe, so most likely he’ll be traded this summer. The Clippers will need a cheap replacement, and Jackson could fill that need. Clippers fans will love Jackson, an elite athlete who plays with reckless abandon. He’s got the potential to be another Nate Robinson.
I’m no fan of college basketball, so I can’t tell you a lot about Jackson’s game, but if he’s “got the potential to be another Nate Robinson” then he isn’t the player the Clippers need. Even if the Clippers do trade Bledsoe, the back-up point guard shouldn’t be a priority. With a Chris Paul re-signing, Chauncey Billups will likely return and fulfill that role. The shooting guard is a bigger hole that needs to be fulfilled. Billups isn’t a starter in this league anymore no matter the veteran presence he brings to a team and Willie Green is decent, but there may be better options available via the draft and free agency.
Draft Express ranks Pierre Jackson as the 56th best prospect of this draft class. His college numbers were solid: 19.8 points, 7.1 assists, 3.4 turnovers during his senior year at Baylor. His shooting numbers weren’t off the charts (35.9 3P%, 49 2P%) either, but shooting doesn’t really translate well between the college and professional level so it’s hard to draw a concrete conclusion off of this. Here’s a brief synopsis of Jacksons’ game accoring to Draft Express’ Derek Bodner:
Jackson has very good ball handling ability and quickness, and can change direction and speeds with relative ease. While he has an array of step back and pull-up jumpers, he’s also very good at getting into the paint with either hand. An explosive athlete with good hang time and body control, who has done a much better job of drawing contact this season, Jackson can still at times struggle to finish over length. Perhaps more of an issue than his physical size is his decision making, which while it has improved greatly, he can still force up difficult shots that aren’t always there.
One of Jackson’s primary negatives last year was his decision making ability and high turnover rate, as he frequently suffered from baffling lapses of judgment, sometimes at critical ventures of games. While not completely solved – he still averages 3.7 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted, 8th among top 100 prospects in our database – it’s a fairly sizable improvement over the 4.5 he averaged last year. He will still try to force plays, both with his passes and his own shots, and will still at times get himself far too deep into the lane and out of control, but it was a noticeable improvement from last season.
What do you all think? Is Jackson the proper pick or should the Clippers go another direction in the draft. Let us know in the comments or via twitter.