The Bucks drafted UConn's Andre Jackson Jr., Kentucky's Chris Livingston in second round

The Milwaukee Bucks did not get into the first round of Thursday night’s NBA draft, but general manager Jon Horst used a future second-round selection and cash to swing a deal with Orlando to pick Andre Jackson Jr. in the second at No. 36. The team then concluded the draft by selecting Chris Livingston at no. 58.

Bucks trade for an extra pick to get Andre Jackson Jr.

Six picks after the first round concluded, Horst and his scouting staff targeted Jackson, a guard out of Connecticut.

The Magic technically made the selection, as the transaction was not official at the time of the pick. Orlando announced the trade later.

"We had really specific targets in mind and kind of an idea of what we wanted to go for and we were able to get the pick and kind of get the player that we wanted at that pick," Horst said of the trade that netted them Jackson.

"(He's) a national champion, an experienced player at a big-time program, a winner, a guy that was really on award ballots and kind of on the watch lists for being defensive player of the year in college basketball, kind of a Swiss Army knife guy, kind of a top-level athlete, great in the open floor, really knows how to play, great pace, great decision-making. High character and just a winner, so we're really excited to have him on our team and to be able to draft him."

Along with cash considerations, the Bucks sent a 2030 second-round pick to the Magic to be able to take the 6-foot-6 guard. Jackson, who will be 22 in November, was a co-captain for the Huskies' 2023 national championship team under head coach Dan Hurley.

Guard Andre Jackson Jr. was a co-captain on the Connecticut team that won the NCAA championship team in April.
Guard Andre Jackson Jr. was a co-captain on the Connecticut team that won the NCAA championship team in April.

Jackson was not a great shooter for the Huskies (26% from behind the three-point line), but was a facilitator (4.6 assists per game).

"He's a winner," Horst said of Jackson. "To impact winning at a high level with low attempts, he just knows how to do it. It's not that he can't shoot or that he won't shoot, it's just he knows how to play. He'll find his spots, he'll pick his spots. And, if he were sitting here next to me right now he'll tell you he can work on it and he will work on it.

"He's a tireless worker. He's as big time competitor. And he'll get better in that area. It's a teachable skill. It's something that you can improve on. I think it's way harder to find guys that are 6-3 or 6-4 and teach 'em how to be 6-6 or 6-7, and not athletic to teach them to be athletic. Andre's got a lot of gifts, natural and earned and worked gifts that I think will give him a chance to be successful for us."

Jackson underwent surgery on the meniscus in his left knee in 2020 and suffered a broken pinky on his right hand last year. Horst said the team was comfortable with where he. was medically.

At the NBA draft combine, Jackson had the fifth-best maximum vertical leap of guards at 39.5 inches and tied for the third-fastest three-quarter sprint at 3.14 seconds. His standing vertical leap was 30.5 inches and was measured with a wingspan of nearly 6-10.

In his three-year career at Connecticut, Jackson gradually improved his overall shooting from the floor from 41% as a freshman to 43.2% as a junior but he really struggled from behind the three-point line. He shot just 11.8% as a freshman, improved to 36.1% as a sophomore and then saw that mark drop to 28.1% as a junior on 2.5 attempts per game.

Jackson was a strong rebounder (6.5 per game the last two years) and was fourth in the Big East in assists last season.

According to the statistical site, Jackson was second in the Big East in individual defensive rating in 2021-22 (93.8 points allowed per 100 possessions) and was fifth last season (94.3).

Forward Chris Livingston played in 34 games with 26 starts in his only season at Kentucky, averaging 6.3 points and 4.2 rebounds a game.
Forward Chris Livingston played in 34 games with 26 starts in his only season at Kentucky, averaging 6.3 points and 4.2 rebounds a game.

Bucks select Kentucky's Chris Livingston at No. 58

With the last selection of the draft the Bucks selected 6-6, 220 pound forward Chris Livingston out of Kentucky. Livingston was a Southeastern Conference all-freshman team member after playing in 34 games (26 starts) in averaging 6.3 points and 4.2 rebounds.

He shot 30.5% from behind the three-point line in his only college season.

Livingston was measured with a 6-11 wingspan and a 30.5-inch standing vertical and a 37-inch maximum vertical at the NBA combine.

"Chris has the pedigree – this is a McDonald's All-American, went to a top-level program, has been one of the best players in his class for a lot of years," Horst said. "Really competitive kid, young man. Really mature body for his age and a really hard worker. So I think when you put those things together; and he's got a great game. He attacks the rim, can put the ball on the floor. A big part of the season at Kentucky he was a plus shooter from the perimeter and later in the season kind of slipped a little bit. There's just a lot to work with there.

"I think he has the right approach, he has the right mentality to grind and make it work as a second-round pick on an NBA team, a good NBA team, in the way that he's going to have to do it to do it. We're excited about him just as we are about Andre and I think we've got two competitive, physically strong, physically gifted young wings that we can add to this team."

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bucks draft UConn's Andre Jackson Jr., Kentucky's Chris Livingston