Jaren Jackson Inks Contract Extension With Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to a four-year, $105 million contract extension with Jaren Jackson Jr., locking up a core player ahead of a Monday deadline. The Grizzlies selected Jackson as the No. 4 pick in 2018 out of Michigan State. A versatile, 6’11” forward, Jackson, 22, earned All-Rookie honors in 2019. He was even better in his second year, scoring 17.4 points per game on 47% from the field and 39% from three.
Although Jackson only logged four games started and 11 total appearances last year, he still put up a respectable stat line of 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Jackson’s effective field goal percentage did fall, to a measly .492%, but there were reasons for optimism regarding his shooting. He shot a career-high 83% from the free-throw line, a more than respectable number for a big man. Jackson profiles as a power forward-center hybrid of the future for the Grizzlies, who are banking on his continued growth on both ends. He should be an excellent pick and roll partner for budding point guard Ja Morant, offering the ability to pop out and hit threes as well.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jackson can be an elite defender. His switchability, rim protection and quick hands will make up for a lot of mistakes the young Grizzlies are poised to make, as they move into a new era. At $26 million this year, Jackson will be the tenth highest-paid power forward, ahead of players like Draymond Green and Aaron Gordon and behind players like Julius Randle and John Collins. His potential impact seems to be the highest of this group, so the contract seems fair for both player and team.
Jackson signed the extension prior to Monday’s 6 p.m. ET deadline for 2018 draft class players to do so. Jackson’s first game of the season was against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Memphis on Wednesday.