After leading the Tar Heels to a national championship on his way to earning ACC Player of the Year honors, Justin Jackson has been selected 15th in the NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. The 15th pick is a bit ahead of where Jackson was projected to go in the final mock drafts.
Jackson was officially selected by the Portland Trail Blazers, but the pick was part of a trade that took place earlier in the night. Jackson will officially be heading to Sacramento when the deal is completed by the league.
Jackson worked out for NBA teams before his junior year at Carolina, and used the feedback he received in order to better his game for the next level. He became one of the most reliable three-point shooters for the Tar Heels, and elevated his game to the point that he was seen among the best upperclassman prospects in the draft.
It was noted throughout the period leading up to the draft that Jackson was seen as a safe bet by teams. His ceiling may not be as high as some of the guys drafted before him, but his floor is also higher than most.
As a junior, Jackson averaged 32 minutes per game, shot 44% from the field, made 37% of his three-point shots, and led the Tar Heels with 18.3 points per game. He made great strides with his defense throughout the season, becoming a long, dependable defender against other teams’ best shooters throughout the Heels’ run through the tournament.
Jackson is the 17th Tar Heel selected in the first round under Roy Williams as head coach at Carolina. He leaves Chapel Hill as a national champion with his jersey hanging in the rafters forever.