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Former Kansas basketball players head for the NBA

24 June 2017

Josh Jackson believes the Phoenix Suns got the best player in the draft: Josh Jackson. "I think he'll be able to play a ton early and also be able to impose his will on the culture there, as well".

But while Jackson chose the Jayhawks over UA, the Suns chose Jackson at No. 4 in Thursday's draft.

"I think we can learn a lot together and over the years, we can grow to be something really special", Jackson said. "The process is what it is and we played by the rules, I guess". I think it's a good fit for him.

Jackson joins a Suns team already loaded with youthful talent as the franchise continues the long climb back toward relevance.

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Jackson was the fourth Duke player picked after Jayson Tatum (No. 3), Luke Kennard (No. 12) and Harry Giles (No. 20). "I am thrilled to officially be a part of team Under Armour as I start my professional career", said Jackson.

"I need to learn how to become a smarter and better defender, so I can show more than just being a guy who can shoot the ball", he said.

Jackson plays with an edge to his game, something Phoenix coach Earl Watson loves in his players.

"We think Josh's defensive ability and athleticism, his length, his passing ability all really complement two very talented offensive wings in Devin (Booker) and T.J".

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"We do exhaustive research on everybody in the draft", McDonough said.

After a year of playing mostly out of position and doing everything he could to fill an important role as KU's 4 man - a task that occasionally required the 6-foot-8 Jackson to guard 7-footers - Jackson should flourish while playing full-time on the perimeter with the Suns.

During a press conference Thursday night, Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough admitted he would've slept much better in the past few weeks if his team landed a higher pick in the NBA Draft. "We're trying to see if we can do something similar".

The Suns were one of five teams with which Peters interviewed at last month's National Basketball Association draft combine. 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.

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Jackson on the other hand can look forward to a lifetime of YouTube "First Pitch Fails" compilations and an appearance on ESPN's "Not-Top 10 list".

Former Kansas basketball players head for the NBA