Earlier in the night, the Indiana Pacers moved up to 31st by trading their two second rounders tonight along with a pair of future seconds. That pick didn’t stay put for long, as they used it to move into the first round, 22nd to be exact, selecting Kentucky freshman Isaiah Jackson. The pick, originally belonging to the Los Angeles Lakers, was sent to the Washington Wizards following their trade of Russell Westbrook, also earlier in the night.
In addition to the pick swapping, the Pacers are also sending Aaron Holiday to the Wizards, moving on from their former first round pick after a frustrating 2020-21 season. Holiday never quite found a role that fit him with the Pacers, falling behind T.J. McConnell as the backup point guard.
Mutual frustration appears to be the motivation for getting Holiday a fresh start with the Wizards, who, now without Westbrook, will need him to help sort out their backcourt alongside Bradley Beal.
As for the pick itself, Jackson is one of the more athletic players in the draft as a 6’10” power forward, averaging 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds last season with Kentucky. He also averaged 2.6 blocks a game, potentially giving Indiana another shot blocking threat alongside Myles Turner and Goga Bitadze.
If the path of the pick sounds confusing, fear not, even Adam Silver had to try and sort through it as he read out the “planned trade.”
Adam Silver announcing a "planned trade" pic.twitter.com/YbBnhBeg1Z— The Jump on ESPN (@NBATheJump) July 30, 2021
Mark talked about Jackson his expansive and indispensable draft guide, coming in a bit lower in his own thoughts about Jackson than some scouts that see a higher upside for the 19-year-old.
About Jackson, Mark had to say:
I understand why scouts are high on Isaiah Jackson, I’m just not quite there in terms of my evaluation. He flashed some interesting stuff when facing up offensively, but I don’t really know how I feel about his touch outside the restricted area and whether or not he’ll be able to leverage face-up mismatches on slower bigs.
That brings up another thing, he’s just not really a big right now while being forced at the 5 offensively. He’s pretty slight and of course has room to grow but I just don’t know how he sees the court for extended stretches early. The shot blocking and timing is awesome mixed with the ability to get out and defend on the perimeter, but I also am just a bit worried how foul prone he’ll be at the next level.
Jackson is still an intriguing defensive prospect with upside on the offensive end, I just am not as high on him as others. Worth noting that Kentucky guys tend to have something untapped that we don’t see in Lexington that flashes at the next level, so I could well be wrong!