Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft — 22. Isaiah Jackson, Pacers
The Pacers should be content with Isaiah Jackson, who came on strong at the end of the season amid Indiana’s injury-plagued race to the finish line. He’s already a reliable rim-runner and lob threat who can block shots and compete on the glass. Even if Jackson’s development stagnates, he should be a serviceable backup center for a long time.
Indiana has a lot of questions to answer in the offseason — first and foremost, what is Myles Turner’s future with the franchise? Is he a building block with Sabonis gone, or do the Pacers want to go all-in on youth. In the end, Jackson should see plenty of run regardless of the ultimate decision. He’s the kind of player a rebuilding team needs to invest in.
“16-game” centers are hard to come by in the NBA. Jackson has the potential to contribute in the playoffs because of his mobility in space and his elite athleticism. He’s still young, and even with a limited skill level, he more than makes up for it with sheer hustle and bounce.