Frank Jackson is a great fit for the Sixers

Dec 21, 2016; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Frank Jackson (15) stands on the court in the second half against the Elon Phoenix at Greensboro Coliseum. Duke defeated Elon 72-61. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 21, 2016; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Frank Jackson (15) stands on the court in the second half against the Elon Phoenix at Greensboro Coliseum. Duke defeated Elon 72-61. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

Every year during the NBA Draft, scouts and executives try to find hidden gems with their second round picks. The Philadelphia 76ers should target Frank Jackson, who brings both fit and upside to the table. 

Every NBA Draft, there are players taken in the second round who become some of the best in that class. These players get overlooked by scouts for a multitude of reasons, then end up proving everyone wrong.

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  • Draymond Green, Marc Gasol and Isaiah Thomas are all examples of second rounders who turned out to be studs. So who could it be this year? One player that I am very high on is Frank Jackson from Duke.

    Coming into his freshman year, Frank Jackson was one of the highest rated recruits in the country. He was the tenth rated player in the 2016 class, according to ESPN.

    When you watch Jackson’s highlights, you can see why he was rated so highly. He is an explosive athlete, that is very quick off the dribble and great at finishing around the rim. He also has a solid jump shot which makes him a scoring threat at virtually all three levels.

    In his freshman year, he proved to be an above average shooter as he shot 39.2 percent from three according to Though he only attempted 131 threes in total, he showed the ability to knock down shots efficiently.

    However, he should not be pigeonholed as just a good shooter. Jackson also has the ability to attack closeouts and use his athleticism to get into the paint. Due to his shooting ability, defenders are forced to close him out hard. Jackson is then able to use his quick first step, which lets him blow by defenders, and get clear paths into the lane. That combined with his quickness on backdoor cuts makes him an intriguing prospect as a slasher.

    Someone with the tremendous athleticism and skill-set of Frank Jackson should be a surefire first rounder, right? Well maybe not. Some scouts have concerns about his ability to run an offense and be a “lead guard”. There are also concerns about his playmaking ability and defense. However, I think there may be another reason that he is so overlooked.

    What may have been almost a disservice to Jackson, was the team he played on. On paper, Duke had arguably the most talented team in the country. Due to the teams talent, they were the consensus number one team in the country and the favorite of many to win the NCAA tournament. With players like Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles, it made it hard for Jackson to get a lot of touches.

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    This definitely had a huge impact on Jackson’s production in his rookie year at Duke. It only makes sense that with the other talent on the team, Jackson was not able to showcase all of his abilities. This scenario reminds me of another player that was slept on when he came into the NBA.

    Devin Booker was a very highly rated player coming into his freshman year at Kentucky in 2014-15. However, like Jackson, he played on one of the most talented teams in the country. Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, the Harrison twins, Trey Lyles and Tyler Ulis all were on the same team. Booker, who would have been a starter on almost every other team in the country, sacrificed a lot. Though Booker was still great and was a lottery pick in the draft, had he been more of a focal point in Kentucky’s offense, he could have been picked much higher.

    To keep this comparison going, Booker attempted 141 three point shots in his freshman season, only 10 more than Jackson. Though Booker shot 41.1 percent, it is still an interesting comparison. Though I do not think Jackson will be as good as Booker in the pros, I think it is a similar situation that is interesting.

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    Jackson’s Fit in Philly

    The main reason I think so highly of Frank Jackson is because I think he would fit perfectly in Philly. He is not a ball dominant guard and has shown the ability to play off of the ball. He is more of a combo guard as he has the ability to play both guard positions. Scouts question his ability to run an offense, however, in Philly that will not be required of him. With Ben Simmons rumored to be used as the primary ball handler, it would allow Jackson to focus on scoring.

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    Due to his shooting ability, he will be able to stretch the floor to create space for Simmons and Embiid. According to, 84.3% of Jackson’s three point attempts were assisted, meaning he is comfortable shooting off of the catch. That skill would be huge next to someone like Simmons as he would be another weapon he can use.

    A lot of Jackson’s offense was driving and finishing at the rim and he showed to be quite good at it.  He is a strong and explosive finisher at the rim and the numbers support that. According to, 33.8% of Jackson’s shot attempts came at the rim and he had a 63.2% FG percentage on those attempts which is very good. The ability to finish at the rim is a very important tool in the NBA and that is one of Jacksons’ strengths.

    His slashing ability will allow him to put pressure on defenses and open lanes for Simmons and Embiid. Many times this season, Jackson has showed the ability to penetrate a defense, draw defenders to him, and find open teammates for easy buckets. His ability to change speeds and make hard cuts would provide a lot to the Sixers’ offense.

    Aside from his shooting, he’d also give the team another capable ball handler. Even though Simmons will be the supposed “point guard” that doesn’t mean he will be bringing the ball up every time down the court. Jackson is a player that is comfortable handling the ball and can take some pressure off of Simmons.


    If Frank Jackson is available at pick #36, the Sixers should not hesitate to take him. In my opinion, he has a ton of upside and could be a great fit with the current roster. However, due to his upside, I would not be shocked if anotherteam took a gamble on him in the first round.

    DraftExpress currently has Jackson going to the Sixers at #39, however, considering that he is a freshman who declared for the draft, I would not be surprised if he ends up gone in the first round.

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    In my opinion, when you are picking in the second round, you should be looking for guys who you think can be steals and I think Jackson is one of them. Not only is he super talented and gifted athletically, he has a skill-set that would fit very well alongside Simmons and Embiid.

    Let’s just hope he’s there at 36.