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Just after the regular season, Suns coach Earl Watson was asked what he looked for in a top NBA draft prospect.

“The type of person that has the best character,” Watson said. “Regardless of position, character is the most important part. The talent is always going to be there. If you get character with talent, that’s when you have an (Eric) Bledsoe, that’s when you have a Devin Booker. Character gets you through tough times. And it also gets you through adversity and it allows you to make leaps and bounds quickly through development and eventually the team wins.”

That brings us to Josh Jackson.

With the fourth pick, the Suns could have a solid chance to snag the Kansas small forward in the June 22 draft. Question is: Will character come into play?

According to KansasCity.com, Jackson has agreed to attend anger-management classes and refrain from alcohol and recreational drug use over a period of 12 months as part of a diversion agreement stemming from a December incident involving a Kansas women’s basketball player.

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Jackson, 20, originally was charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal property damage after police said he kicked the driver’s door and rear tail light of a car belonging to women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert. Jackson pleaded not guilty April 12.

According to KansasCity.com, Jackson also agreed to:

-Write an apology letter to the victim;

-Complete at least 20 hours of community service;

-Obtain a substance-abuse evaluation and complete all the treatment recommendations included. If no recommendations are made, Jackson is required to complete “Alcohol Information School.”

If Jackson completes the diversion agreement, the case against him would be dismissed, according to court documents obtained by KansasCity.com.

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On the basketball court, Jackson widely is considered the best two-way player in the draft, a likely top-five selection. As a freshman last season, he averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists, earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. The AP named him a third-team All-American.  

Jackson’s defensive potential and toughness make him an ideal fit for the Suns, who last season finished with the league’s second-worst record. Management has made defensive improvement an offseason priority.

Contact Doug Haller at 602-444-4949 or at [email protected] Follow him at Twitter.com/DougHaller

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