Reggie Jackson is coming off a career-high 23 points against the Spurs on Wednesday and seems to only be getting better. Jackson has turned out to be a pretty good point guard in the NBA, someone that would get drafted earlier if the 2011 draft was redone today.
But how much earlier? Jackson was drafted 24th overall by the Thunder, but he was sandwiched between some serious talent. Some of the guys in the 2011 draft are stars already and some are on the brink.
Here’s my list of how I’d re-play the 2011 draft. (NOTE: This is personal opinion, not the expertise of our NBA staff. Thunder writer Anthony Slater broke down Jackson's brilliant night against the Spurs in this film review).
In parenthesis is the spot and round the player was actually drafted in in 2011.
1. Kyrie Irving, G, Cleveland Cavaliers (1/1)
2. Klay Thompson, G, Golden State Warriors (1/11)
3. Kawhi Leonard, F, San Antonio Spurs (1/15, drafted by Indiana but traded to Spurs)
4. Kenneth Faried, F, Denver Nuggets (1/22)
5. Nikola Vucevic, C/F, Orlando Magic (1/16)
6. Jimmy Butler, G, Chicago Bulls (1/30)
7. Chandler Parsons, F, Houston Rockets (2/38)
8. Isaiah Thomas, G, Sacramento Kings (2/60)
9. Reggie Jackson, G, Oklahoma City Thunder (1/24)
10. Tobias Harris, F, Orlando Magic (1/19, drafted by Charlotte but traded to Orlando)
11. Tristan Thompson, F, Cleveland Cavaliers (1/4)
12. Kemba Walker, G, Charlotte Bobcats (1/9)
13. Markieff Morris, F, Phoenix Suns (1/13)
14. Iman Shumpert, G, New York Knicks (1/17)
It’s an interesting question. Jackson may have even more potential than some of the players I’ve listed before him, but those players also have room to grow themselves. The thing that sticks out about the 2011 draft is the amount of non-lottery picks (players selected outside the top 14 picks) that have grown into steals for their respective clubs. Isaiah Thomas was the last pick of the entire draft and he’s 11th in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating (23.22), ahead of players at his position like Ty Lawson and Stephen Curry.
But I may just be being generous to Jackson, who doesn’t shoulder nearly the load of a Kemba Walker in Charlotte or some of the other young players behind him.
What do you think? Based on some of the names listed above, is Reggie Jackson a top 10 player from his draft class?