Kaun and Jackson Await Draft

Sasha Kaun (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson could have the lifetime opportunity of hearing their names called during the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

“I think they’ll both get picked mid to late second round,” said an NBA scout.

Sasha Kaun recently signed a three-year contract for CSKA Moscow, where he will return to his native country in Russia. The scout said Kaun’s signing should work in his favor on draft night.

“That’s a thing that appeals to teams,” he said. “You can draft him and leave him overseas. I think it will (favor him being drafted) because you still can draft him and retain his rights while he’s playing significant minutes over there. That’s the best team in the world outside of the NBA.”

The scout isn’t completely sold on Kaun’s NBA future.

“I think in the right situation, he could be a third string center for somebody,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a given, though. It’s got to be the right situation. I could see him having a long career over in Europe, too.

“(If he eventually makes the NBA), he’s not going to see a lot of minutes.”

The scout calls Kaun a very raw player.

“He’s got such an elementary game,” he said. “He’s going to be a low mistake guy, he’s going to rebound, he’s going to get easy baskets that are created for him by others. He’s not a great shot blocker, though, but he’s big and strong. You can put him in there and he’s got six fouls.”

This scout said he could see Utah taking Kaun in the second round since he’s head coach Jerry Sloan’s-type “no-nonsense, strong, tough kid.”

Darnell Jackson is also a tough player. However, the scout thinks Jackson is a “long shot” to make the NBA.

“But I think somebody will take a chance on him in the second round,” he said. “I wouldn’t rule it out (of Jackson’s chances of someday playing in the NBA). I don’t think it’s a definite no, but I don’t think he’s a lock, though.”

“He’s that rugged, blue collar four man,” the scout added. “I kind of compare him to Chris Richard from Florida (the 6-9 forward-center played his rookie year with Minnesota last year, averaging 1.9 ppg and 1.6 rpg). At least he can step out and shoot a little bit. He’s athletic for being  kind of a big, husky guy. I’m not sure on his feel for the game.”

On Thursday night, both Kaun and Jackson will find out if the pro scouts feel they have “game” for the NBA.


More On The NBA Draft

This NBA scout feels Chicago will draft Memphis point guard Derrick Rose with the first pick.

“It’s so hard to get an elite point guard,” he said. “Michael Beasley is going to be a very good pro, too, but those elite point guards are hard to find. I don’t think (Rose) is going to make as big an impact immediately, but I know how hard the kids works and how bad he wants to be successful. I just think in time he will be a franchise-type player.”

And then there's Beasley, who will surely go to Miami with the second pick if Chicago indeed selects Rose. The scout said he’s not concerned that Beasley is only 6-8 1/4 in shoes after being listed as 6-10 at K-State.

“No, not at all,” he said. “He plays big. Charles Barkley was 6-5 and he scored abound the hole. Michael Beasley shoots it better than Barkley. When he’s around the basket, he moves bigger bodies. He’s strong and he’s wide; he’s long and he’s got big hands. (His size) doesn’t worry me at all.”

However, this scout doesn’t see Beasley being a franchise player.

“Those franchise players have a way of making everyone around him better,” he said. “I don’t think that’s in his nature. I think he’s going to put up franchise player numbers like 20 and 10, but (a guy like) Zach Randolph did that and I wouldn’t consider him a franchise player. For me, there’s probably only about 10 legitimate franchise players in the league.”

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