Meet the new guy: 3 important things to know about Suns 1st-round pick Josh Jackson

Posted: 6:15 PM, Jun 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-23 01:12:25Z

The Phoenix Suns drafted the player many believe was the best all-around athlete available in this year's NBA Draft by selecting small forward Josh Jackson out of Kansas with the fourth overall pick Thursday night.

Basketball runs in his family's blood, as his mother was a star player on the UTEP women's basketball team. Here are three important things to know about the 20-year-old as he heads to the desert:

1. He's versatile and EXTREMELY competitive

The 6-foot-8, 207-pound Jackson averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 points per game for the Jayhawks while shooting 51.3 percent from the field, including 37.8 percent from 3-point range. But the best part of his game is arguably on the defensive end, as he also averaged 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, leading his team in both categories.

"I think I can bring a lot of defensive versatility, offensive versatility," Jackson told ESPN after he was selected, adding he can defend multiple positions.

In its profile of Jackson, said the 20-year-old is one of the draft's most versatile players.  "It is Jackson's defense and overall competitiveness that is one of his most attractive traits," the profile read. "He's a fiery guy who has been a two-way player his entire career, and showed the ability to guard anywhere from 1-4 in college."

Jackson is also known for his trash talking -- and didn't hold back after three teams passed on him Thursday night.

2. He picked Kansas over Arizona.

Jackson was the No. 1 rated collegiate prospect in the 2016 class. The final three schools he considered playing for were Kansas, Arizona and Michigan State. UA coach Sean Miller spent a countless number of hours pursuing the star out of Justin-Siena High School in Napa, California.

But ultimately, Jackson chose the Jayhawks. He guided Kansas to the 2016-17 regular-season Big 12 championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

3. He's had some off-court problems.

Fair or not, expect some to bring Jackson's character in question as he heads to Phoenix. In February,  Jackson was charged with criminal damage  for allegedly kicking a female basketball player's car in December. In March, court documents revealed  Jackson allegedly threatened to "beat" her.  Jackson was later suspended for a Big 12 Tournament game "as punishment for an accumulation of embarrassing incidents," according to ESPN.

"I don't think it really represents who I am," Jackson said Thursday night. "You know, I made a mistake that day. I did. I admitted to it from day one when it was brought up.

"I think the whole situation was really blown out of proportion, just because I am who I am. Reporters want to make a story and get themselves a name. But everyone who was close to the situation and everyone who I've talked to about it, they know exactly what happened that day ... But I have owned up to the mistake I made and I accept the responsibility of it from day one."