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Jaren Jackson Jr. Shines in Grizzlies Win over Jazz in Utah Summer League

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 4, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY - JULY 2: Jaren Jackson Jr. #13 of the Memphis Grizzlies before the game against the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018 Utah Summer League on July 2, 2018 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake CIty, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Jaren Jackson Jr.'s early returns from the Utah Summer League look promising after the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft had 10 points and eight rebounds in the Memphis Grizzlies' 95-92 win over the Utah Jazz.

What was expected to be a showdown between Jackson and Jazz first-round pick Grayson Allen turned into a one-man show with Utah's rookie resting after playing on Monday.

Despite making just four of his 11 attempts from the field, Jackson was able to show a lot of the skills that led the Grizzlies to make him a key piece of their future. He went 2-of-4 from three-point range and led the team in rebounding.

     

Perimeter Game Gives Jaren Jackson Jr. Star Ceiling

Scouting reports for Jackson going into the NBA draft were largely positive, though there were concerns about what kind of a shooter he would turn into.

"He struggles in traffic or when tightly guarded," B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote. "Jackson only converted 54.2 percent around the basket, a low number for a big with such jarring size, length and strength. Though his outside shooting percentages were solid, he has an unorthodox pushing motion that raises questions about his three-point range translating."

That hasn't been a problem through his first two professional games. Jackson has now made 10 of his 17 attempts from three-point range this summer.

NBA TV @NBATV

.@jarenjacksonjr continues his 🔥 shooting from deep! He hits his 2nd triple of the 1st Q! Grizzlies up 32-21 after 1! 📺: NBA TV https://t.co/znb2kM8PYT

He also showed good moves in the paint.

NBA @NBA

.@jarenjacksonjr works the spin move in the post! 🌪️👏 #NBASummer #NBARooks 📺: @NBATV https://t.co/1qpJoHNrzv

If Jackson has found a comfort level with his shooting form that allows him to be a consistent threat from outside of the paint, the Grizzlies will have found their next superstar who will lead the franchise back to prominence.

There's plenty of work ahead for the 18-year-old, but it's easy to be excited about what he's shown at the start of his career.

     

Jazz's Tony Bradley Showing Potential as Valuable Rotation Big

Utah may have found something with one of its own big men after Tony Bradley put up a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

This came one day after Bradley put together a strong showing against the San Antonio Spurs in the summer league opener:

Ben Dowsett @Ben_Dowsett

4 blocks for Tony Bradley to go along with 11 pts and 11 boards. Best player on the floor for ether team in Jazz-Spurs.

The Jazz aren't lacking big men on their roster right now. Rudy Gobert is one of the most valuable defensive players in the NBA. Derrick Favors, who started a career-high 77 games last season, agreed to a two-year deal to return to the team, according to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania.

The front office has until July 9 to decide if it will guarantee backup center Ekpe Udoh's contract.

If the Jazz decide to move on, Bradley could become a factor in the rotation. The 20-year-old was a first-round pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017 before being traded to Utah.

Bradley played a total of 29 minutes over nine games with the Jazz last season. He looked great in 24 G League games with 15.4 points and 10 rebounds per contest.

The big thing for Bradley to work on, which reared its ugly head on Tuesday, is defense:

Liam Doyle @LiamDoyleNBA

Tony Bradley beat on 3 straight defensive possessions down the stretch. Played too far off Simmons and Selden because he lacks foot speed, gives up 2 midrange jumpers. Last play he tried to block something he had no chance of getting, gave up an easy putback

Until Bradley figures out that part of his game, the Jazz will have to limit his exposure in real games. The summer is an excellent learning opportunity for him to get a strong grasp on how to correct that flaw.

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