NBA Rumors: Grizzlies 'Aren’t Yet Sold' on Jaren Jackson Jr.; Knicks LinkedMay 13, 2021
Jaren Jackson Jr. is under contract to the Memphis Grizzlies for one more season, but the 21-year-old forward's long-term future may not be with the team that drafted him.
Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Grizzlies "aren't yet sold" on Jackson because of his injury history.
Berman noted the New York Knicks could be a potential fit because Jackson's father is an assistant coach with their G League affiliate, and general manager Scott Perry "loved" his athleticism leading up to the 2018 NBA draft.
Jackson has flashed his potential over the past three seasons since being drafted fourth overall in 2018, but he's missed a lot of time.
He had a solid rookie campaign, averaging 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 50.6 percent shooting (35.9 percent from three), but a thigh injury caused him to miss the final 23 games.
Jackson took a step forward in 2019-20 (17.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 39.4 percent from three), but he missed 15 of the final 18 games after tearing the meniscus in his left knee.
The rehab period following surgery on his knee caused Jackson to miss the first 56 games this season. The Michigan State product returned to the lineup April 21, and he's looked rusty in nine games (two starts), shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 26.5 percent from three.
He is eligible to sign a long-term extension this offseason.
The fit between Jackson and the Knicks would be interesting. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has built a reputation for relying heavily on veterans to play significant minutes each night, and Jackson's long list of injuries would seem to make him a player who needs to be carefully managed.
Still, given his age and upside, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a team like the Knicks pursue him if he becomes available in a potential trade or as a restricted free agent in the summer of 2022.