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NBA Mock Draft has Isaiah Jackson to Knicks as New York strengthens Lexington connection

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If this comes to fruition, it’d be the second straight first round the Knicks took a Wildcat.

Auburn v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Slated to kick off on July 29, the 2021 NBA Draft is just over a week from now.

The Kentucky Wildcats are still projected to have two draft picks in Isaiah Jackson and B.J. Boston. At the start of the 2020-21 collegiate season, it was expected that Boston would’ve been the lottery pick, but he’s slipped to typically being mocked in the second round.

It’s been Jackson consistently being taken as a first-round pick. In Yahoo Sports’ most recent mock draft, Jackson was taken at No. 21 by the New York Knicks.

In the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, the Knicks took Immanuel Quickley. Given that Quickley was graded a D+ and was nominated to the All-Rookie team, the Knicks might favor another Wildcat.

Jackson could help fill the role that Mitchell Robinson left last season. At 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Jackson has great size and could develop into a Bam Adebayo-type big man.

It should also be noted that Kenny Payne, former Kentucky assistant, is now an assistant in New York. Knowing the Kentucky program and the talent in Lexington might help him convince the Knicks’ front office to draft yet another Wildcat.

Along with Jackson, Boston was also taken in this mock. If it comes true, Boston would join Duke’s Zion Williamson in New Orleans, as this projection has the Pelicans taking the former with the 40th overall pick.

In the second round, Boston would be a low-risk, high-upside pick. He averaged 11.5 points per game in his lone season at Kentucky.

A five-star prospect out of high school, Boston’s size, at 6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, will allow him to have a lofty ceiling.

The main concern with Boston is that he’ll never grow into an efficient contributor, shooting under 36% from the field. However, his potential is certainly intriguing enough to make him a high second-round pick.