Magic second-round pick Justin Jackson, one of the last unsigned players in this year’s draft class, has inked a G League contract and will join Orlando’s NBAGL affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said today (Twitter link via Keith Smith of RealGM.com).
Having missed most of the 2017/18 season with a torn labrum, Jackson may not have been ready to contribute to the Magic’s NBA squad right away in his rookie season, so the team has opted to make him a domestic draft-and-stash prospect instead.
While most of this year’s second-round picks, particularly those selected in the first half of the second round, signed NBA contracts, it’s not uncommon for a small handful of draftees to sign G League contracts. In fact, this will be the second consecutive year that the 43rd overall pick has taken that route — Rockets second-rounder Isaiah Hartenstein spent last season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers before signing his first NBA deal with Houston this summer.
Before going done with his labrum injury last season, Jackson had recorded 10.3 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 44 career games at Maryland. The 21-year-old forward also had a career shooting line of .418/.386/.728. Orlando acquired his rights in a draft-night trade, moving down two spots from No. 41 to No. 43 and picking up a 2019 second-round pick in the process.