Jaren Jackson Picked by Grizzlies No. 4 in NBA Draft; Twitter Loves Upside

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2018

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR  JCPENNEY - Top NBA Draft prospect, Jaren Jackson Jr., shows off his style as he heads to the draft in a JF J. Ferrar suit on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in New York. The fully customized suit includes a personalized liner with the
Mark Von Holden/Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies selected Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr. with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft Thursday night.

Jackson, 18, is the youngest player in the 2018 class. He doesn't turn 19 until September but is still seen as one of the safest picks.

Haralabos Voulgaris said he could be the second-best player in the 2018 class:

The 6'11" big man averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game during his lone season at Michigan State. 

"He's one of the more intriguing guys in the whole country," a scout said in February, per Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune. "His ability to be an outside shooter [is impressive]. That's almost in reverse of big guys. You usually work inside, then [improve on your game] outside. He's started outside, then worked toward playing inside. That's really what the NBA is about now. It's something that works in his favor."

Jackson was seen as a lock for the top 10 coming into the draft, with some mocks projecting him as high as No. 3. He's a promising fit for the current NBA because of his ability to stretch the floor and use his length to protect the rim. 

The Grizzlies will also hope he can make the transition quickly, though he could begin his rookie season coming off the bench. 

Memphis is likely looking to make a push for a playoff return, so drafting a project in Jackson is an interesting decision. The Grizz will likely use him as a backup behind Marc Gasol, who could also act as a mentor to help the young big develop more refined skills.

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