Duke

Duke’s Frank Jackson turns in strong day at NBA Draft combine

Duke guard Frank Jackson (15) goes up over Clemson center Sidy Djitte (50) and guard Marcquise Reed (2) in the second half of play during the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 8, 2017.
Duke guard Frank Jackson (15) goes up over Clemson center Sidy Djitte (50) and guard Marcquise Reed (2) in the second half of play during the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 8, 2017. cliddy@newsobserver.com

If Frank Jackson needed some positive feedback from NBA personnel in order to remain in the NBA Draft, it's probably coming his way now.

The Duke freshman point guard played well in the 5-on-5 portion of the NBA Draft combine at Quest Multisport Complex on Thursday and that should help his draft stock going forward.

"Yeah, it was a good day, I thought I competed well," Jackson said. "Our team competed well and I was able to get to the basket a couple times and score and make some plays for my teammates. It was a good day and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week."

On Friday, Jackson decided he’d heard enough good things to stay in the draft. He will hire an agent and not return to Duke.

The 6-foot-4 Jackson is currently projected at No. 21 in the 2018 Draft by DraftExpress.com, but ESPN's Fran Fraschilla believes Jackson could go in the first round this year.

"Frank Jackson is gonna be a bargain at the end of the first round because if you remember him in high school, he's athletic and he's a shooter and scorer, something the league covets," Fraschilla said. "And he was in a situation this year, there were so many cooks in the kitchen [at Duke], it was really hard to tell how good he was. And it's my opinion that his talent level will find him a place in the late-first round because there aren't that many guys to take once you get past 15. And if he stays in I think he's gonna get drafted in the first round."

Jackson, who averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in his freshman season at Duke, said he's still undecided about whether to remain in the draft.

"I just want to get through this week, get through this process, maybe work out for some teams this next week and the week after and sit down and kind of play it by ear," he said. "And then I'll decide in the next week or two."

Jackson has had interviews already with San Antonio, Charlotte, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Utah, Oklahoma City and the New York Knicks.

Asked if he was looking for a first-round guarantee, he said, "That would be nice. I mean, everybody wants to hear that."

Jackson touched base with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski before the combine.

"He just told me to be myself, to be vocal and compete and play hard," he said. "He has my back and I'm grateful for his guidance and counsel."

Meantime, Duke was still recruiting while Jackson made his mind up. Jordan Goldwire, a 6-2 shooting guard, recently committed, while the Blue Devils are still involved for 6-3 point guard Trevon Duval, 6-7 wing Jordan Tucker and 6-11 big man Mohamed Bamba.

"If I were to go back and [Duval] were to come there it wouldn't affect me," Jackson said of the point guard who is also considering Arizona, Baylor, Kansas and Seton Hall. "Tre's a good player, he's a good kid and I feel like we'd get along really well. And if he didn't go there, that wouldn't affect me either way."

With the return of Grayson Allen and the addition of Gary Trent Jr., Duke could conceivably have had a very loaded backcourt if Jackson returned and Duval committed.

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