Suns May Have Pushed Josh Jackson To Cancel Celtics Workout

There are rumblings out of Boston that the Suns may have encouraged Josh Jackson to skip his workout with the Celtics so he would be available for Phoenix with the fourth pick.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE passes along the theory that Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who spent 10 years in the Celtics’ organization, was behind Jackson’s decision to cancel a scheduled session with the team in Sacramento. McDonough joked about the situation Friday in Jackson’s introductory press conference, but later offered hints that there might be some truth to the allegations.

“Look, it is a competition,” he told reporters. “The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean [Jackson’s agent] B.J. [Armstrong] and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough pointed out that it wouldn’t violate any NBA rules if he and Armstrong had worked together to steer Jackson to Phoenix.

The Boston contingent, made up of president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM and team counsel Mike Zarren, didn’t find out about the cancellation until their plane landed in Sacramento, which sparked some anger toward Jackson.

“Flew across the country, are you kidding me? I had to get up at 4 o’clock and fly back home,” Ainge said.

Jackson claimed he had a phone conversation with Stevens this week, but Ainge said on draft night that no one in the organization had direct contact with the Kansas forward, Blakely relays in a separate story. Some believe Jackson was bitter that the Celtics didn’t give him serious consideration when they had the No. 1 pick and he didn’t want to join the team after it traded back to No. 3.

“There was something that he didn’t want to play for the Celtics,” Ainge added.

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58 thoughts on “Suns May Have Pushed Josh Jackson To Cancel Celtics Workout

  1. GoldenJabs

    This just adds to his character concerns and I’m glad the Celtics didn’t select him.

    • D-NBA
      Dionis

      The Celtics have Jaylen Brown. That kid reminds me alot of Westbrook/Jordan with his turnaround game and athleticism.

      • Chris

        Lol. You gotta be f-ing kidding me. Westbrook and jordan comparisons for a dude that couldn’t get off his bench

        • D-NBA
          Dionis

          Dude he has elite athleticism and his shot will only get better. He will he a NBA superstar 2-3 years down the line.

          • SHOWTIME

            Sorry Dionis this is the only time I disagree with you. Lol. Jaylen brown will be an average starter at best.

            • D-NBA
              Dionis

              Jaylen Brown will be a superstar, he held his own against Lebron as a rookie in the playoffs and will only get better. Really all he has to work on is post game and that turn around jumper, he will develop into something special just be patient he was drafted for potential of what he could be.

            • formerlyz

              I can’t guarantee he will be a superstar, but he definitely has at least star potential, or he will be a star role player. Has a chance to be a special 2 way player, especially if the jumpshot and handle keep improving

    • MathTeacherSDSUAlumni619
      MathTeacherSDSUAlumni619

      Character concerns? So a kid who wasnt happy a team was devaluing him as a play when looking at the #1 pick doesnt want to play for said team when theyre picking at #3? Thats not character concerns lol. Why would you want to play for a team where youre their 2nd choice and know it? God that would be like you letting a girl cheat on you and pick another man then take her back when she comes running back.

      Sounds like the celtics did a piss poor job playing their hand when they had the #1 pick and it bit them in their butt.

      • libbo

        Yup, poor Danny got bit in the arse all right. Instead of getting straddled with a shoot first, no D guard with the first pick (to go along with the other half dozen guards already on the roster), Danny gets a forward with smooth offensive moves and a sweet shot PLUS another lottery pick. As for Jackson, good luck. C’s already have Marcus Smart and that’s Jackson at his best, on
        Y a couple inches taller ….

    • GoldenJabs

      He’s actually 20 and he’s already had a run in with the law. This past December Jackson followed a female to her car and “was yelling for her to get out of the car and that he would beat her ass.” He then proceeded to kick the driver’s-side door and rear tail light. The listed damage to the car was over $3,000.00 which is a felony, however, he was given a lesser charge.

      Coach Bill Self also suspended Jackson for a quarterfinal game against TCU as punishment for “an accumulation of incidents”. His suspension likely cost his team a win.

      I would not be surprised if his juvenile record reflects similar behavior and I’m thankful the Celtics stayed away!

      • yoyo137

        No offense but if his suspension cost them a win, and Bill Self chose to suspend him, then isn’t it Bill Self’s decision to bench him the reason they lost? Like that is terrible timing to suspend a player.

        • No it’s still Jackson’s fault. I mean what you’re implying here is that Jackson should be punished at a later date because his team needs him. He got suspended during the Big 12 tournament and suspending him at a later date would’ve been during the NCAA tournament. While Bill Self made a tough decision, its the right one because otherwise it sets a bad example. If Self was to not act swiftly, then the star players going into Kansas won’t worry about getting in trouble.

  2. kylewait89

    Just not a very polite move but there are no friends in business. This won’t effect his pro career but he may have burned a bridge should he not pan out in Phoenix and hits free agency.

    • socalbum

      well beyond polite — Ainge has a long memory, McDonough best watch his 6

      • kylewait89

        I don’t think Ainge will hold it against the Suns FO. Jackson and his agent made the decision to not workout.

      • Connorsoxfan

        Well after the Isiah Thomas deal the Suns have every right to do whatever they want to the Celtics for the next couple years in my book haha

  3. Fabian721

    Don’t matter phoenix isn’t going to win anything EVER with/without him!! Go Celtics!

    • D-NBA
      Dionis

      Booker,Jackson,Bender, and Chriss will be great for Phoenix. Boston’s dominance will be spear-headed by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum going forward unless Danny decides to sign and trade Tatum to Indiana and give George a 3 year extension to go with Hayward.

        • D-NBA
          Dionis

          My prediction is George gets moved to Denver to play with Jokic and Murray. Murray has untapped potential and Jokic will be a superstar himself. Mayne Gallinari,Chandler, and Mudiay? Possibly throw in a pick? Indiana gets 2 small forwards and a point guard who with a change of scenery can evolve.

  4. dust44

    Tatum got them better anyway. The Suns did them a favor. With Brown and Tatum they now have a very good athletic defender and now a very good scorer coming off the bench. Plus 2 really good young building blocks on a team that will need them soon enough when they contracts of IT, Bradley etc start coming to an end.

    • D-NBA
      Dionis

      Brown and Tatum could be everything Vince and McGrady couldn’t be in Toronto together.

  5. df08988

    There was a story on here 6-8 weeks ago that stated that many rookies and agents were avoiding the Celtics because the rookies don’t get much playing time (see Jaylen Brown). Seems to be pretty accurate with Josh Jackson.

  6. crazysull

    That might be true at first, but they will earn their spot eventually. Plus they have a better shot at winning a championship with the Celtics than they do if they were drafted by someone like the Suns or the Kings. For some guys it is hard for them to go from being the Star of their high school, to the big name on campus at whatever college they are at to some guy who comes off the bench. But with time to mature and time to show what you are capable of you will start soon after. But the Rookies who are willing to “trust the process” usually end up being better players anyways which is why Taytum will be better than Jackson in my opinion.

      • liamsfg

        You fail to see his point, Chris.

        Its about development and being in the best program to do so.

        De’Aaron Fox has no veteran PGs to learn from in Sac but Tatum is in a position to soak it all up for a year or two before becoming a starter. Especially if they sign Hayward.

        Appreciating the latter shows maturity in these kids and thats why I like Tatum over Jackson because he’s eager and patient at the same time with a great mindset going in to the NBA.

        • D-NBA
          Dionis

          Dude why would Danny draft Jaylen and Jayson number 3 just to have them play behind Hayward? Doubt he makes a move for either George or Hayward.

  7. Reflect

    How is this even legal? It’s basically tampering. Seems like something that NBA should not allow.

    • MafiaBass

      It’s legal because the draftees aren’t under contract before being drafted. If they were, then it would be tampering.

  8. michael n

    Honestly if i was Jackson i wouldn’t wanna play for the Celtics either. No offense to their organization but i look at that roster and wonder would i even play 20mins a game or even in my first year? Because he plays the same position as Jaylen Brown.

    • liamsfg

      Tatum is a better fit anyway I doubt they would have picked Jackson even if he had worked out.

      Tatum has the right personality and open mind. I think he would play well at the 4 and split time with Brown at 3 to back up Hayward depending on the matchups, assuming Boston signs Hayward.

      • ^^ Jackson’s style is similar to Jaylen Brown’s. While Jackson might have more upside, Tatum is a better fit as he has a more polished offensive game and should fit better next to Brown when they take the court at the same time.

  9. crazysull

    Plus people forget that Jackson comes with baggage and has to take anger management classes because of something he did, and he got off easy in my opinion. Taytum on the other hand wants to take his salary and set up a foundation for single moms. On draft night they interviewed his mom and they said that they already had a business plan in place. That alone makes me want to draft this kid. He doesn’t only say he is going to do something, he actually does it and he has a plan already in place to do it. Other than Fultz I think Taytum is going to turn out to be the best player drafted this year

  10. Celtics blew it BIG time should of kept #1
    pick and trade it for Butler. HaHa

    • D-NBA
      Dionis

      You are not seeing the potential Brown and Tatum carry, these guys get scouted on how good they could be once they fully develop. Danny is smart, Jaylen has alot of physicality to him and gifted athleticism and he will be ready to be a star next season. Tatum is a natural born scorer who can score in just about anyway possible on the court and has an NBA body, as good as Thomas is at the 1 if he does re-sign in Boston it won’t be for the max.

  11. Boston sports fans are the most annoying little whiners. They’re still squawking about the Drew Pomeranz deal my Padres fleeced them on. Now they think Jayson Tatum is a better player than Josh Jackson because of his ‘baggage’, when they’d be dancing in their urine soaked streets if they had drafted the best player in the draft in Josh Jackson. Haha GTFOH with that noise. I wouldn’t wanna play in a sesspool of a racist town like Boston either. Josh Jackson was the steal of the draft. Thanks C’s, we’ll take that gift. Have fun with Allen Houston 2.0!

    -Salty Suns Fan

  12. Connorsoxfan

    lol corleone must’ve answered they removed that part of the comments

  13. formerlyz

    Phoenix was the best fit for Jackson IMO, so I had speculaed that part of the reason he didn’t work out was to hopefully end up there. But I also think it was the fact they traded down. Obviously he felt he was worthy of the #1 pick, and he was definitely 1 of those guys. I think it’s a little ridiculous to hold this against him, considering all of the other players that have steered their way to certain landing spits over the years, namely Kobe Bryant

    • formerlyz

      After seeing how the rest of the draft played out, the Celtics getting Tatum and Ojeleye makes a lot of sense, although I think Jackson is the eventual better player, and could contribute defensively right away. Tatum is also more polished offensively

  14. azentropy

    Teams anti-sell other teams all the time. The Suns had no control on who he worked out for. Probably went something like this – “Why would you want to work out for the Celtics, they weren’t interested in you when they had the #1 overall pick. We would have taken you even if we did have the #1 overall pick.” Or maybe even more subtle and left out the first part and he came to that conclusion himself.

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