Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. Sounds Off On Marcus Smart Trade

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

Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Jaren Jackson Jr. is looking forward to playing with Marcus Smart next NBA season.

The Grizzlies acquired Smart from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade with the Washington Wizards. Smart won the 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year Award, while Jackson Jr. won the award last season.

“That doesn’t happen pretty often or ever,” Jackson Jr. said, via Jerry Jiang of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I just know what he brings to Boston. I’ve seen it before I was in the league and it’s crazy.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Marcus Smart, Jaren Jackson Jr. & Memphis Grizzlies Updates

An anonymous member of the Grizzlies told Keith Smith of Spotrac that the franchise is thrilled about acquiring Smart from the Celtics. Memphis believes Smart is a “perfect” fit.

“Marcus Smart is perfect for everything we want to be,” the anonymous member of the Grizzlies said. “We want our players to be tough, versatile, intelligent and to sacrifice for the team. And they have to represent what we want Grizzlies to be and to do right by Memphis. Marcus is going to teach some of our young guys how to win in ways they haven’t quite figured out yet. We couldn’t be happier to have him.”

Smart averaged 11.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists last season while shooting 41.5% from the field, 33.6% from beyond the arc and 74.6% from the free-throw line. The rugged defender, along with veteran point guard Derrick Rose, will have to play very well while Ja Morant is out for the Grizzlies to stay competitive in the Western Conference.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Marcus Smart, Jaren Jackson Jr. & Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Morant will miss the first 25 games of next season. Both Smart and Rose are expected to mentor the superstar, who averaged 26.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 8.1 assists last season in 61 games. The Grizzlies were the second seed in the West but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs.

Morant has been suspended by the NBA for 25 games for showing a gun on an IG Live video for a second time. He was suspended for eight games in March last season after the first incident.

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