The Memphis Grizzlies have signed forward Jaren Jackson Jr. to a four year, $105 million rookie extension. The 22 year old will remain in Memphis and the Grizzlies seem to have their future plan in the works. Jackson is now locked up, Ja Morant is going into his third season, and the Grizz are looking to make a name for themselves.
JJJ: Boom or Bust
This deal for Jackson is not a crazy deal, but it’s a solid contract for a young player. Compare it to the rookie extensions of players like Trae Young, Michael Porter Jr, or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who all signed their rookie extensions for $172 million. Those players are more proven than Jackson as of now, but it shows that Memphis doesn’t think he’s far behind from their caliber.
Jackson was drafted in 2018. He has yet to play in 60 games in a season in his young career. Including just 11 games in 2021. He tore his left meniscus, causing him to miss most of the 2021 season. He has also dealt with a quad injury, as well as a sprained knee. Leg injuries can be worrisome, especially for a 7 foot tall NBA player.
Jackson’s upside in the NBA is huge. He has put up 15 and 5 throughout his career, even while dealing with the injuries. After having plenty of time to heal from his torn the meniscus, Jackson is set to start the 2021-22 season fully healthy. This season will play a big part in how people view this extension. The Grizzlies are banking on him being healthy, and improving his game. His ability to create offense and shoot the three at his size makes him very tough to guard.
Jackson has been constantly dealing with these leg injuries through just three seasons. That is not something he, nor the Grizzlies should take lightly. He needs to work on controlling his landings, and building up strength to avoid any more injuries as best as he can. The Grizzlies took a risk on Jackson’s health, and are hoping it will pay off big time.
Yes, I think this is a good signing for the Grizzlies. Their future should include both Jaren Jackson Jr, and Ja Morant. Signing Jackson is the first step there. His long term health is a key to this deal working out. He has the talent to make this contract look like a steal for the Grizzlies. Jackson and Morant are going to be a fun duo to watch this season.