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Suns’ Josh Jackson voted top defender by 2017 draft class

Phoenix Suns' Josh Jackson shoots over Dallas Mavericks' Carrick Felix during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Sunday, July 9, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

When the Phoenix Suns took Kansas small forward Josh Jackson with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft, they knew they were getting something special.

And so did the other players.

In a survey conducted by, 39 rookies voted on who they believe will be the Rookie of the Year, the biggest steal of the draft, the rookie who will have the best overall career and the top defender.

That’s where Jackson comes in.

Phoenix’s Josh Jackson was voted as the top defender in the rookie class. The Kansas standout received 26.3 percent of the vote, followed by Golden State’s Jordan Bell (23.7 percent) and [Utah’s Donovan] Mitchell (21.1 percent).

Before declaring for the NBA draft, the freshman was a force to be reckoned with. In 35 games, he brought down 177 defensive rebounds and stole the rock 59 times.

Last season, the Suns were one of worst teams defensively. Opponents averaged 109.3 points per game, and only the Denver Nuggets and L.A. Lakers were worse. The Suns were also in the bottom half of the league in defensive rebounding (33.1).

In the NBA Summer League, Jackson averaged 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 9.2 rebounds per game.

Jackson also tied for third for best career and tied for fourth for most athletic.

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