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Thunder draft BC’s Jackson at No. 24
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma City Thunder took Boston College guard Reggie Jackson with the 24th overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
Jackson averaged 18.2 points and shot 42 percent from 3-point range as a junior last season for the Eagles. He could provide some offensive punch for a defensive-minded Thunder team that gets much of its scoring from All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Yet he joins a crowded backcourt that already features Westbrook and defensive stopper Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup and has James Harden and Eric Maynor established off the bench.
Jackson, at 6-foot-3, has a 7-foot wingspan and ranked among the best shooters in ACC play from the foul line (87 percent), 3-point range (40 percent) and overall (47 percent). He didn’t participate in the draft combine in Chicago and canceled workouts with teams because he had a procedure done on his right knee, his agent Aaron Mintz told the Boston Herald.
It was the only pick the Thunder had coming into the night after losing to Dallas in the Western Conference finals, with a core of its own first-round picks in recent years.
Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Serge Ibaka _ the team’s top four scorers _ were all selected in the first round of the draft in the past four years since general manager Sam Presti took over.
This is the first time in that span, though, that the franchise didn’t have a lottery pick or trade up to get one. Last year, Oklahoma City moved up to get center Cole Aldrich at No. 11 but he spent most of the season playing in the NBA development league.
Presti said after the season that it would be “unlikely” that anyone Oklahoma City took at No. 24 could crack a rotation that has eight of 10 players already under contract for next season. He was simply looking for someone who could be a contributor “next year or down the line.”
At least in the short term, Jackson could face a competition with seldom-used reserves Nate Robinson and Royal Ivey to become the team’s third-string point guard.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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