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2018DD

#4 – Jaren Jackson Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies selected Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Matt John

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With the No. 4 pick in the draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select Power Forward/Center Jaren Jackson Jr. out of Michigan State.

Jackson measures in at 6-foot-11, 236 pounds. In a league that values three-point shooting and versatility now more than ever, players like Jackson are very rare to come by. The Michigan State alum was widely regarded as one of the safer picks in this year’s draft given that his skill set fits the modern NBA like a glove. Jackson proved to have a reliable three-point shot in the collegiate level, as he shot 39.6 percent from three, while also proving to be a defensive presence in the post, as he averaged 3.0 blocks a game.

What makes Jackson all the more appealing as a young prospect is his all-around IQ as a player. Jacksons’ ambidextrous abilities should serve him very well in the NBA. Jackson can finish with both of his hands in the post and he can block shots with both hands, which should make him an all-around menace on both ends of the floor. Jackson has also shown his feel for the game, as he’s shown to be a good cutter and can run the floor well for a big. The all-around skills that he brings to the table have drawn comparisons to premier bigs in the league such as Al Horford and Myles Turner.

Jackson should also have a high learning curve once he enters the NBA. Jackson will come into the league as one of its youngest players. He does need to add some mass, and his release isn’t very pretty, but luckily he’s going to a team that should provide a good mentor for him with all-star center Marc Gasol.

Rumors were swirling before the draft that Memphis was dangling the fourth overall pick along with Chandler Parsons, but ultimately stayed put. They had good reason to keep the pick since that they now have a prospect like Jackson on the team. No matter where the Grizzlies go from here, their future is in good hands with Jackson onboard.

Matt John is a staff writer for Basketball Insiders. He is currently a Utah resident, but a Massachusetts native.

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2018DD

Sources: 76ers Trade Khyri Thomas to Pistons

Basketball Insiders

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Philadelphia’s No. 38 overall pick Khyri Thomas will be traded to Detroit, league sources say.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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2018DD

Sources: Kings Trade Gary Trent Jr. to Blazers

Basketball Insiders

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Gary Trent Jr. is headed to the Blazers in a trade, league source tells ESPN.

Portland will send Sacramento to two future second-round picks for Trent, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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2018DD

#30 – Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks

Lang Greene

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With the No. 30 pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Omari Spellman from Villanova University. .

After 10 consecutive seasons reaching the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks failed to win 25 contests in 2018. Gone are All-Stars Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague, all of whom the franchise groomed at various points during their decade of playoff bliss. Now the team is faced with a daunting rebuild under second year general manager Travis Schlenk and first year coach Lloyd Pierce.

Spellman was the third Villanova player selected in the first round of this year’s draft behind Mikal Bridges (No. 10 overall) and Donte DiVincenzo (No. 17 overall). In his lone campaign with the Wildcats, Spellman appeared in 40 contests and averaged 10.9 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The Hawks continue to add shooting to their rebuilding roster. With the No. 3 overall pick, the team selected Luka Doncic, who will be traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Trae Young. The team used the No. 19 overall selection to draft shooting guard Kevin Huerter from the University of Maryland. In Spellman, the Hawks acquire a big man that shot 43 percent from the collegiate three-point line last season.

In addition to Young and Huerter, Spellman will join a young Hawks core featuring point guard Dennis Schroder and forward John Collins, two of the team’s first round draft picks from prior years.

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