The Los Angeles Lakers will have a lot to consider before they decide what to do with their second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. There are a number of prospects to choose from, each offering their own unique set of pros and cons on the court. The Lakers, however, also have to consider what a player is like off the court, and that’s where Kansas forward Josh Jackson will have some explaining to do in interviews.
Jackson was involved in an incident back in December when he kicked the car of Kansas women’s basketball player, McKenzie Calvert. Jackson pleaded not guilty in the incident but had to file a diversion agreement, which are conditions that must be fulfilled for charges to be dropped.
Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star discovered what terms Jackson agreed to, including anger management classes and abstaining from drugs and alcohol:
▪ “(E)nroll in and successfully complete an Anger Management counseling course” by Oct. 31
▪ “(A)bstain from the use of alcohol and recreational drugs during the diversion period”
▪ “(W)rite and sign a letter of apology to the victim(s)” by June 30
▪ Complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service by Oct. 31
▪ “(O)btain a substance abuse evaluation” by June 30 and “complete all the treatment recommendations listed in the evaluation.” If no recommendations were made, Jackson was “required to complete Alcohol Information School” by Oct. 31.
In addition, Jackson paid $158 in court costs, $150 in a diversion fee and $250 in restitution to Timothy Calvert, who is McKenzie’s father. If Jackson violates his 12-month diversion, he agrees to pay a restitution of $3,150.45 to Calvert.
Of course, there are far worse things than kicking a car, and most people are guilty of making a few poor decisions while in college. Still, it will be up to the Lakers to determine whether this incident was just a one-time mistake or an indication of a larger problem.
It’s also possible that Jackson’s off-court issues don’t factor into the decision at all. Jackson is certainly talented and could wind up being one of the best players in the draft, but his shooting ability is questionable, which could make him a difficult fit in Walton’s offense. The favorite still has to be UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, but expect Jackson and several other players to try to make the decision as difficult as possible.