Indiana Basketball: Trayce Jackson-Davis’ path to the NBA

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Indiana Basketball star Trayce Jackson-Davis has a tough path to the NBA.

Trayce Jackson-Davis was a constant glimmer of hope amidst an up-and-down season for Indiana Basketball. His consistent effort and rebounding always helped the team even in the worst of times. He barely missed out on winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year to Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, and is due to come back to Bloomington and have a sensational follow-up season.

As for his NBA career, however, Jackson-Davis has the odds stacked against him. Before I say anything seemingly negative, just know I am a huge fan of Jackson-Davis’s game. He is one of the only top-20 Indiana recruits in the last two decades to actually live up to their ranking. Watching him last season was one of the few consistent joys of being an Indiana fan.

That doesn’t change the fact that Jackson-Davis’s game is not exactly tailor made to the modern NBA. In fact, it is about the opposite of ideal for NBA teams. In the floor-spacing, shooting dominant NBA of 2020, Jackson-Davis is an outsider. In the 1990’s, it was customary to play two paint-punishing and high-volume rebounding bigs. That style of basketball is all but extinct now.

If Jackson-Davis was born 20 years ago, he would have no problem getting to the NBA and succeeding. Playing now, however, gives him some work to do in order to fit in. Let’s take a broader look at Jackson-Davis’s NBA chances.

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