ckson also shot 50.3 percent from the field and 79.6 percent from the free-throw line as a junior.
The Thunder also has Royal Ivey and Nate Robinson under contract for next season, but Jackson is looked at as more of a luxury, a player who is now in the program and can develop slowly rather than being rushed into action.
Most draft analysts projected the Thunder to select Duke forward Kyle Singler or Serbian forward Nikola Mirotic in a draft-and-stash strategy. Mirotic, however, was taken one spot ahead of the Thunder, and OKC opted for Jackson over Singler.
Oklahoma City also chose Jackson over other heralded prospects such as Texas' Jordan Hamilton, Providence's Marshon Brooks, Marquette's Jimmy Butler, UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, Richmond's Justin Harper and Latvian forward Davis Bertans.
Presti, however, said Jackson was the guy the Thunder wanted all along.
“We looked at a lot of things,” Presti said. “We looked at moving up. We looked at moving out. … But when the 23rd pick was announced, we felt like this was the right decision.”
Jackson reportedly did not work out for teams because of an alleged knee injury he sustained just before draft preparations. It was widely reported in the weeks leading up to the draft that Jackson had a promise from a team drafting in the first round. Some figured that team to be Thunder. According to numerous reports, Jackson declined to share personal information with teams, disclose his medical history or even allow teams to measure him.
Presti said late Thursday night, though, that Jackson did indeed work out for the Thunder.
If Jackson was indeed the player the Thunder wanted all along, the franchise got its man.