The Memphis Grizzlies, who drafted big man Jaren Jackson Jr. with the 4th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, are expected to bring Jackson off the bench to start the season.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was one of the youngest upper-echelon prospects in the draft last year, as he won’t turn 19 until September 15. A freakish athlete with amazing size, a beautiful jumper and excellent shot-blocking instincts, Jackson looked excellent during Summer League:
According to Grizzlies Vice President of Basketball Operations, who spoke to Peter Edmiston of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the team wants to take its time in developing Triple J:
“I think whatever happens, we want it to happen organically, and not get ahead of ourselves, and make sure we’re taking all the right steps on him, and not getting too excited and skipping ahead…. We don’t want to put him into overtly physical matchups yet because he’s 18 and his body is still filling out.”
To start the year, it is likely that Jaren Jackson Jr. will be the third-string big man behind Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green, though let’s hope he gets plenty of rope on a Grizzlies team that will likely be challenging for a playoff spot in 2018-19.
After the additions of Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson and Garrett Temple, the Grizz upgraded their talent at various spots on the floor, and with the impending return of franchise cornerstone Mike Conley, the Grizzlies should be in the hunt for a lower-tier playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference next year.
Let’s just hope that Jaren Jackson Jr.’s development isn’t stunted because of that focus on returning to the playoffs.