Our first prospect is 6’3" guard Reggie Jackson out of Boston College, a player several analysts have already linked to Miami. The 21-year-old has the look of a Pat Riley player: he's a hard-nosed kid with the potential to be a great defender.
Note: *Miami currently holds just one selection, slotted for the first pick in the second round at No. 31 overall. Don’t be surprised if they acquire another pick or two in exchange for cash considerations.
Strengths: He's a good perimeter shooter (42 percent from three) with a freakish 7'0" wingspan. He's highly efficient (50-80-40 from the field, free throws and three-point line) and is solid in catch-and-shoot situations. He's also a smart defender who uses length to close passing lanes. Fundamentally sound, Jackson plays at a very controlled pace and has an excellent first step and high basketball I.Q.
Should the Miami Heat draft Jackson if he's available?
Weaknesses: Jackson has a slow release and mediocre lateral quickness. He must add strength to his overall frame, especially in legs. Average quickness could hinder his dribble penetration.
Where he fits with Miami: First, my gut is Jackson will not be available at No. 31. I think they would have to trade up a few spots into the 23-27 range to get him.
That said, the two most important skills asked of Miami’s point guards are shooting and defense. Jackson has a chance to excel in both areas, especially on the defensive end. His length and instincts should translate well on that side of the floor, pending he puts in the work.
Rarely do Miami’s point guards initiate offense, they instead spot up in wide-open catch-and-shoot situations and set screens. Jackson has the ability to be a consistent perimeter shooter at the next level, with a few tweaks to his form. With a stronger base, his release will be much quicker and his overall shooting will improve as a result. He currently shoots with too much upper body, and the ball takes a while to leave his hand.
ESPN’s David Thorpe: “It’s important to note that many players end up playing much more athletically as pros than they did in college. This is important for Jackson, who looks like he can do more above the rim than he has thus far. If this proves to be the case, and Jackson continues to be a solid to very good shooter from 3, then anyone getting him after the lottery will be very happy. He’ll be in a team’s point guard rotation, with a chance to be a starter, especially if he realizes his defensive potential.”
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