After initial reports that Josh Jackson had received a guarantee from an unknown team, it appears as though the Kansas forward has canceled a workout with the Boston Celtics who own the top pick in the draft:
High lottery pick Josh Jackson canceled today's workout with the Boston Celtics, source told me and @MarcJSpearsESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 13, 2017
There are a few scenarios that could be true here:
The Celtics could have given a promise to Jackson that they will draft him over presumptive number one overall pick Markelle Fultz, making the workout redundant. This seems unlikely due to Fultz and due to the lack of any meeting between the two sides that has become public.
The more likely scenario is that Jackson received a guarantee from a team lower in the draft and is content with or forcing his way to that team. The Lakers could be the target; there is a possibility that Jackson is forcing the Celtics hand in not drafting him so he can get to his more desired location, be it the Lakers (who are his only reported workout thus far) or someone else.
Let’s get weird.
Original Story Follows:
Rumors regarding the 2017 NBA Draft are heating up. As the Los Angeles Lakers get closer to selecting another franchise corner piece with the second overall pick, there is still plenty of speculation about who the team will select, especially given the recent reviews of Lonzo Ball’s workout.
While Ball is the presumptive favorite to be drafted by his hometown team, there are still several intriguing prospects that the Lakers are keeping an eye on. One of those is Josh Jackson, the Kansas forward who also had an individual workout for the Lakers last week.
Jackson is a defensive-minded prospect making him especially interesting for the Lakers who once again had a bottom-tier defense in the NBA last season. Rumors around the small forward are escalating as John Gambadoro of Sports 98.7 Phoenix reports that he has received a guarantee from at least one team in the draft. (Note that Gambadoro also broke the Steve Nash to Lakers trade so he has some track record of reliability)
Josh Jackson has been promised – has worked out for Lakers in LA. Has not worked out for Phoenix yet. It could be Philly but likely Lakers.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 12, 2017
It’s important to note that Jackson has only worked out for the Lakers among teams with top five picks as far as we know. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Lakers are the team who have given him a guarantee as workouts don’t usually sway teams’ decision too far in any direction. But it is an interesting thought nonetheless.
The Lakers have seemingly been putting up smoke screens all over the place and their interest in Jackson, De’Aaron Fox, and even Dennis Smith, Jr. has been widely reported.
With ten days still left until the draft, it would be unlikely that the team has already made a decision and given a guarantee to a draft prospect.