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Suns’ Josh Jackson excited to learn, grow together with young team

Phoenix Suns first-round NBA basketball draft pick Josh Jackson speaks to the media, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

LISTEN: Josh Jackson, Suns forward

Some can see a roster filled with young players as problematic.

There’s not enough maturity and experience in the locker room and on the court, bringing bad results more often than not.

While the Phoenix Suns aren’t necessarily that kind of team because of veterans like Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley and Eric Bledsoe, they still have one of the league’s youngest rosters and at one point last season had the youngest starting five in league history.

The Phoenix Suns’ biggest acquisition of the offseason to this point, No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson, seems to be more than OK with the team’s youth.

“I know that this is a really young team but when I look at them that’s one of the things that really excites me the most,” Jackson said to Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.

“Because I know that I still have things to learn, they still got things that they need to learn, but I’m really looking forward to being able to learn those things together and being able to just grow up together and I think down the road that’ll just make our team chemistry so much better.”

Jackson’s point is very sound.

At 20 years old, Jackson joins 20-year-old Devin Booker, 19-year-old Marquese Chriss and 19-year-old Dragan Bender as the four big pieces for the Suns’ future.

Separated by only a year, Suns fans must be drooling at the thought of not only how much more developed the players will be in three-to-five years, but how well they will play off each other because of that familiarity.

What separates Jackson from the group is his perimeter defense and style of play. He’s always going 100 percent and plays with an edge.

“That’s the only way to be,” Jackson said.

“It really makes you better as a player and I’ve learned that from a very young age.”

He also has versatility.

Head coach Earl Watson said Friday that he believes Jackson can play all five positions and that’s not only a compliment to his offensive skills but most notably his defense.

Jackson comes off as someone very self-aware of what it takes to be put in so many different situations as a defender.

“It’s something that I definitely just picked up on, just being able in college and in high school, me just playing so many different positions naturally I had to also learn how to guard those positions and it involves a lot of thinking,” Jackson said.

The team will be looking to Jackson sooner rather than later to be the signature defender on the outside on the league’s best like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard.

Jackson is ready.

“I’m absolutely up for the challenge,” he said.

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