Kentucky's Isaiah Jackson Declares for 2021 NBA Draft, Will Not Hire Agent

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Kentucky's Isaiah Jackson (23) dribbles during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Kentucky freshman Isaiah Jackson has declared for the 2021 NBA draft to potentially forgo his final three years of eligibility.

The forward announced his decision Wednesday, although he will not hire an agent and could return to school:

Isaiah Jackson🌴Black Chaldean @IJackson22

It’s all love💙#BBN4L https://t.co/zPn1pVKFyO

It was an up-and-down season for the 6'10" player, who finished with averages of 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.

Though he had some quiet offensive games earlier in the year, Jackson came on strong down the stretch with some aggressive performances in the paint.

He also showcased his athleticism with the ability to finish above the rim:

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Isaiah Jackson, SKYWALKER https://t.co/1EncVJAWXU

Jackson's strength still comes on the defensive end as an elite rim-protector with good enough mobility to handle the top forwards in the sport. He finished third in the country in defensive box plus/minus, per Basketball Reference, an especially impressive figure on a team that struggled to a 9-16 record in 2020-21.

It's this ability that has NBA scouts excited about his future at the next level, even if he doesn't improve as a scorer.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Jackson to be the No. 25 overall pick in his February mock draft.

An improved jump shot and added strength could take him to the next level as a prospect, but his upside and high floor could ensure his name is called in the upcoming draft.