From the moment the Milwaukee Bucks traded up to get Andre Jackson Jr. in the 2023 NBA Draft, fans have liked the move.
Even before he put on a Bucks jersey, a good chunk of the fanbase said with their chest that there would be room for Jackson in the 2023-24 rotation. The sample size is quite small, but throughout the NBA Summer League and preseason so far, Jackson has not done anything to deter those fans, as he has shown glimpses of legitimate potential.
After two games in the preseason, this writer began putting together an article about hot takes for the 2023-24 Bucks – stay tuned for that – and Jackson was featured heavily throughout. A few of the hot takes submitted by fans:
"“Andre Jackson is our best young player”“Andre Jackson Jr. will be good enough this year (and the Bucks desperately need a wing stopper) to play in the playoffs”“AJJ is more important to the team than Marjon this year”"
Sure, some could say that this is a fanbase trying to hype up one of its young players, but even the experts are bought in on the youngster. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, The Athletic’s draft expert Sam Vecenie had this to say about Jackson recently:
"“So glad that Bucks fans are already falling in love with Andre Jackson. Was my favorite player in college hoops last year, and just love his game so much. One of the best basketball processors in this class at real, dynamic speed.”"
The Jackson hype is certainly building.
What can Andre Jackson Jr. do for the Milwaukee Bucks in year one?
It’s obvious to see why Bucks fans are excited about what Jackson can bring to this team even as a rookie. Last season, the team lacked athletic, defensive-minded wings above 6-foot-5. Now, there is an incredibly versatile 6-foot-6 wing who plays defense whenever he steps on the floor, and he could make a major difference for the Milwaukee Bucks.
With Wesley Matthews and Jrue Holiday, two excellent defenders from last year, gone the Bucks are in need of someone to step up and take the tougher assignments. Jackson is among a handful of candidates for the role. While he’s not as savvy as Jae Crowder or Malik Beasley, Jackson has all of the attributes to become a reputable defender in this league.
Year one will likely be about development for Jackson and getting his feet wet. Yet, it would not be surprising to see him thrown into the fire at certain times, as Coach Adrian Griffin has a history in the field of player development. If Griffin can find a way to bring out the best in Jackson, it would be a boost to this team’s odds of success as they hunt for wing defense.
Jackson’s shot and production offensively will be a work in progress, but at this time, the Bucks would certainly welcome strong play on the defensive end even if they sacrificed a bit on offense.
If the Bucks did truly find a hidden gem in the second round of this draft, Jackson could go down as one of the team’s biggest steals in recent memory.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.