The Toronto Raptors training camp roster is already looking a lot different than it did at the beginning of July, as Armoni Brooks and Svi Mykhailiuk were waived within a month of one another. The free agent market was still teeming with potential replacements, Josh Jackson among them.
A former No. 1 overall recruit picked No. 4 overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2017 NBA Draft (in between Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox), Jackson went from one of the league’s most promising rookies to a bust who left town after a few seasons. Jackson’s arrow seemed to be pointing up after joining the Detroit Pistons.
Just a few years after linking up with Dwane Casey, Jackson found himself traded and on the verge of being without an NBA team by the time camp opened. Intrigued by his potential, Masai Ujiri threw Jackson a bone and brought him to Canada.
The Raptors agreed to terms with Jackson after a somewhat disappointing 2021-22 season. Knowing Toronto’s history when it comes to taking chances on former top draft picks, the Raptors might have the necessary skills to turn him into a bench contributor once again.
The Toronto Raptors signed Josh Jackson.
Jackson averaged 13.4 points per game while starting 25 games for the Pistons in 2020-21. He converted 42% of his shots and 30% of his 3-point attempts. His scoring stats dipped to 7.1 points per game this year before being dealt away and only receiving spot minutes in Sacramento.
Jackson still has the bounce that made him a top recruit and a high draft selection. While he’s not the greatest defender in the world, he’s much better than he was as a rookie. If given a long enough leash, he’s shown that he can pile up the points at a respectable clip.
The Raptors have more experienced non-guaranteed players floating around the roster, but the addition of Jackson could throw some of their plans out of whack. Jackson might not be the shooter that some of the other roster hopefuls are, but he has multiple double-digit scoring seasons under his belt to go along with his hops.
Jackson will likely not be guaranteed much of anything when he arrives at Toronto’s training camp. Still, the fact that Nick Nurse has seen him be a quality scorer in this league before might be enough to give him a one-up over some of the other roster hopefuls. Will the Raptors’ development machine turn him around?