NBA Exec Shocked By Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. Extension

Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

There were some surprising decisions with the rookie extension deadline passed on the eve of the 2021-22 NBA regular season. 11 players overall signed extensions, headlined by Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter Jr. landing max extensions.

Five players are no longer on an NBA roster, two were ineligible for an extension and the rest of the players didn’t work out a deal with their new teams.

While only having 11 players sign extensions seems like a low amount, this draft class set an NBA record agreeing to new deals totaling more than $1 billion.

The biggest surprise out of that bunch was that Deandre Ayton couldn’t come to terms with a deal with the Phoenix Suns. The Suns worked out extensions for Mikal Bridges and Landry Shamet, but not Ayton.

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Out of the players who signed extensions, Jaren Jackson Jr.’s deal with the Memphis Grizzlies was probably the most eyebrow-raising. During an appearance on the HoopsHype Podcast, an NBA executive shared his feelings on Jackson’s deal and was shocked by it.

“Some of these extensions have been surprising like Jaren Jackson. I can’t believe it. He’s barely played the last two years.”

Jackson was the No. 4 overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018 out of Michigan State. He signed a four-year, $105 million extension, as Memphis is banking on his potential more so than what he has produced thus far.

He has a high ceiling but hasn’t been able to stay on the court. The 58 games he played in his rookie year were the most appearances he has made in a single season. But, when watching him play, it is easy to see why the Grizzlies would commit that kind of long-term money to him.

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Jaren Jackson Jr. is a 37.4 percent 3-point shooter in his career, enabling him to play either frontcourt spot because he is a reliable threat from the perimeter. He is also a good shot-blocker, providing that unicorn skillset of someone that can space the floor offensively while protecting the rim defensively.

If he can stay healthy, people will be looking back on this deal as a steal for the Grizzlies. His skillset and potential are max-player attributes, but he has to show that he can stay healthy for an entire season before earning that kind of money.