Suns select Josh Jackson with 4th pick

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Kansas' Josh Jackson, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Phoenix Suns as the fourth pick overall during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Kansas' Josh Jackson, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Phoenix Suns as the fourth pick overall during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Kansas' Josh Jackson, right, hugs friends and relatives after being selected by the Phoenix Suns as the fourth pick overall during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Kansas' Josh Jackson, right, hugs friends and relatives after being selected by the Phoenix Suns as the fourth pick overall during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

The Phoenix Suns got their man. 

With the fourth pick in the NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns selected small forward Josh Jackson out of Kansas. Jackson spent one season at Kansas, averaging 16  points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

“I’m here today, happy, glad to be a Sun,” said Jackson on ESPN after being selected by the Suns. “I think I can bring a lot of defensive versatility, offensive versatility. I can guard one through four on (the) defensive end and play one through four on (the) offensive end."

[VIDEO: Josh Jackson speaks after Suns draft him]

Jackson is 6 foot 8 inches and is considered a “can’t miss” prospect. He’s aggressive and has great speed to go with his size. He fills a need for defense that the Suns have needed.

"I know they're a pretty young team. I think that's what's really special, though, because coming in I think we can learn a lot together, and over the years we can be something really special and just be able to grow together," said Jackson.

“He plays with a chip on both shoulders,” said ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon. “He’s the alpha male in this draft class. This is the best move since Steve Nash was drafted.”

His jump shot is considered the one weakness in his game. Jackson also has a few red flags off the court. He made threats against a member of the Kansas women’s basketball team in December. He was arrested after kicking in the tail light and denting the driver's door of a Kansas women's basketball player's car while she was in it. He agreed to a diversion program that requires him to go to anger management class and do community service.

He was also suspended for the start of the Big 12 Tournament by Jayhawks Coach Bill Self for another incident.  

"I don't think it really represents who I am," Jackson said. "You know, I made a mistake that day. I did. I admitted to it from day one when it was brought up. I think the whole situation was really blown out of proportion just because of who I am. Reporters want to make a story and get themselves a name. But everyone who was close to the situation and everyone who I've talked to about it, they know exactly what happened that day. It wasn't as bad as everybody made it out to be."

Jackson plays with an edge to his game, something Phoenix coach Earl Watson loves in his players. Devin Booker does, too, so things could get interesting out on the wing for Phoenix.

"I love competition," Jackson said. "I love proving people wrong. I've been drafted to Phoenix, and I'm going to go there and I'm going to make the best of it. I'm going to be the best player I can. And those teams who didn't draft me, one day they will be sorry."

Jackson joins an already young team that came away with two lottery picks last year, thanks to a draft-night trade with Sacramento. The Suns chose then-18-year-old forward Dragan Bender with their pick last year, third overall, then acquired Sacramento's eighth selection from the Kings and chose 19-year-old forward Marquese Chriss.

The Suns are enduring the longest playoff drought in franchise's history. Phoenix hasn't made it to the postseason the last seven seasons.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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