Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson hasn't even played in an NBA game yet and he's already being mentioned in trade rumors.
The rookie, who was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, has heard his name batted around as a potential piece of a trade for Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving, who made waves this summer by announcing that he wanted to be traded.
As someone who is new to the NBA, that kind of buzz surrounding him could be a major distraction, but Jackson said he's trying to do his best not to let it affect him.
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In an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio, though, Jackson said he doesn't believe he'll be moved before the start of the 2017-18 season. He said he thinks if he was going to be traded, the deal would have been done already (via Yahoo! Sports):
“I think if that was going to happen, it would’ve happened by now," he said. "A little talking to my agent, not really checking social media, because that’s not the way to go. People just say whatever. I handled it the same way I tried to handle Draft Night. Coming in, I didn’t know what was going to happen, I still don’t know what is going to happen. I’m going to make the most of whatever situation I’m presented with. If I’m traded to China, whatever, I’m gonna come out, I’m gonna be happy, just try to make the best of it.
“I was kind of in the dark a little bit. But I got a feeling that the trade wasn’t going to happen.”
The Suns have said publicly that they aren't going to include Jackson in any deal for Irving, but NBA teams change their minds all the time, so Jackson will have to take that with a grain of salt.
If the Suns can somehow pull off a trade for Irving, though, they'll have yet another talented young player in the mix, along with Jackson and guard Devin Booker.
Phoenix wasn't on Irving's list of teams he wants to be traded to (which was made up of the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and New York Knicks), but the Suns may be the team with the right pieces to pull off the mega-trade.
Whatever happens for the rest of the summer, the Irving drama in Cleveland will be interesting to watch. Jackson, though, won't be paying attention - he'll just be working hard to get ready for his rookie season.