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NBA Draft 2017: Celtics GM Danny Ainge sounds off on Josh Jackson

25 June 2017

ESPN's Chad Ford reports Jackson won't work out for Boston unless the front office promises they are keeping the pick and selecting him.

Ainge, as the personnel chief with the most assets to offer, including the third pick in the draft, was sure to be right at the edge of the ring, throwing in his hat. Following an impressive showing at the NBA Draft Combine, however, Jackson kept his name in for good and was projected by many to be a first-round pick.

After Boston made the trade, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called Tatum.

"There was something that he didn't want to play for the Celtics", he said.

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Cook, a captain of Duke's 2015 national championship team, dominated the NBA Development League with scoring averages of 19.6 and 26.0 points per game in the last two seasons, respectively, before signing with the Pelicans late last season. He shot 45 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the free throw line in 33.3 minutes per game. He already has enough moves and footwork to operate as an isolation scorer.

He's also expected to put on bulk relatively easily.

It's been a long journey for Jackson, who moved to Utah as a child and attended Lehi as a freshman before becoming one of the top guards in the nation as three-year starter at Lone Peak. In terms of his passion and rugged style, some compared the 6-8 forward to Marcus Smart.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge felt comfortable dealing the No. 1 pick knowing he could still land a quality wing - either Tatum or Jackson at No. 3. He was arrested after kicking in the tail light and denting the driver's door of a Kansas women's basketball player's auto while she was in it. Jackson, who wrote a letter of apology, was ordered to undergo anger management and perform community service.

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Despite the lack of communication with the Celtics, Jackson said he was still open to playing for Boston.

That's because in New York City on Wednesday, Jackson told a group of reporters that he had spoken with head coach Brad Stevens and other assistant coaches, but had not had a chance to talk with Ainge.

Jackson should fit in well with a Suns roster that's filled with young, talented players led by star-in-the-making guard Devin Booker who should be able to grow and develop together in the same mold as the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs.

His most immediate contribution probably will be made as an extension of the Celtics' clawing defensive culture. Frank Jackson may just be the answer for Charlotte at number 31.

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