NBA Draft preview: Bridges, Jackson Jr. expected to be picked in lottery
The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 21 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
After a freshman campaign in which he averaged almost 11 points and three blocks per game, according to sports-reference.com, former MSU power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. could be selected as high as No. 3 overall by the Atlanta Hawks.
Former small forward Miles Bridges figures is predicted to be chosen toward the end of the lottery. Bridges finished his sophomore season with averages of 17.1 points and seven rebounds per game. He shot over 45 percent from the field and almost 37 percent behind the three-point line, according to sports-reference.com.
ESPN.com has Jackson Jr. going as No. 3 overall to Atlanta, while Bridges could go to the Washington Wizards as a No. 15 pick.
NBA.com projects Jackson Jr. to drop to No. 5 overall to be selected by the Dallas Mavericks. Bridges could be selected as No. 14 overall to join former Spartan wing Gary Harris on the Denver Nuggets team.
The last time an MSU player was selected in the lottery was in 2016, when Denzel Valentine was taken as No. 14 overall by the Chicago Bulls.
If Jackson were to be picked in the top four, he'd be the highest-drafted Spartan since basketball icon Earvin "Magic" Johnson was selected first overall in 1979 by the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson and former Detroit Piston small forward Greg Kelser are the only Spartans to have been selected in the draft's top four.