The Kings selected small forward Justin Jackson out of the University of North Carolina with the No. 15 overall pick (via the Portland Trailblazers). The 22 year old junior played in 40 games last season for the Tarheels, averaging 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 32 minutes per game. Jackson also connected on 37 percent of his threes, shooting about seven per game. Jackson also played a huge role in the Tarheel’s championship run in the NCAA Tournament, including scoring 16 points in the championship game against Gonzaga. Jackson was also voted 2016-2017 ACC Player of the Year. Standing at 6-foot-8, Jackson built a reputation for himself as a knockdown shooter from deep with a soft touch inside.
In this special weekend edition of the Blazer’s Edge Mailbag we tie a bow on the Portland Trail Blazers’ performance in the 2017 NBA Draft. Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan proved to be a slight swerve away from the draft expectations of the Portland faithful. The reaction was swift and, in some cases, brutal... Dave, Months of talking about the three picks and then a guy who didn’t even start and a player nobody’s heard of? lolwut? Convince me the Blazers didn’t blow this draft. I think this is insane and I’m seriously wondering about management. I’ve followed this team for years and I’ve been more discouraged but I’ve seldom been more confused about what they’re doing. Help me. Phil If you asked
Warriors season review: In the wake of the Warriors’ second NBA title in three years, The The seventh installment focuses on Damian Jones, who made major progress as a rookie. 2016-17 statistics: 1.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 8.5 minutes per game Jones tore his right pectoral muscle while weight lifting 12 days before going 30th overall to the Warriors in last June’s NBA draft. After finally getting cleared for contact work in late November, he logged nine different stints with Golden State’s D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz. Jones’ development goals were modest: give consistent effort, attack the glass and grasp the spacing necessary to become a reliable interior defender. Over the course of several months, Jones cut down on fouls and emerged as a dominant two-way player in the D-League. Though he made significant strides with the Warriors’ minor-league affiliate, Jones had a tough time earning meaningful NBA playing time. Offseason outlook: With Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West having just finished one-year deals, Jones is Golden State’s only prototypical big man signed for next season. The Warriors will probably at least bring back Pachulia before rounding out the rest of their frontcourt with low-cost contracts. [...] head coach Steve Kerr said last week that Jones will have an opportunity to crack the rotation. The hope is that he makes the most of his time with Golden State’s summer-league team, continues to expand his arsenal of low-post moves and becomes comfortable banging down low with NBA-caliber players. Matt Barnes Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.