Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr.’s Stellar Rookie Season Ends With All-Rookie First Team Nod

Adam Silver Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Adam Silver Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

Jaren Jackson Jr. has become a star in just a short time in the NBA as he earned an All-Rookie first team nod this past season. The Memphis Grizzlies are set to build around him going forward.

The Memphis Grizzlies selected Jaren Jackson Jr. with the 4th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and he had a fantastic rookie season. He did play in just 58 games, but when he was on the floor he showed off his superstar potential which earned him a spot on the All-Rookie first team alongside other young stars such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young.

He started 56 of the 58 games he played in after he took the starting job and kept it after JaMychal Green was injured early on. His offensive arsenal was on full display as he was able to make plays from anywhere on the floor. He developed a quality three-point shot as well as being able to attack the basket and finish through contact.

His numbers don’t jump off the chart, but he was still very effective as he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game on 51% shooting from the field including 36% from three-point range. He wasn’t one of the main options in the offense since he was playing alongside Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, but he did have at least a few games this past season where he was the go-to option.

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His best game of the season was in a road win over the Brooklyn Nets in late November. In that game, he finished with 36 points and 8 rebounds on 13-22 shooting including 3-7 from three-point range. He knocked down two three-pointers in the final minute one of which was a four-point play as they rallied from seven down in the final seconds to force overtime.

That game was when he really got himself talked about on the national stage as everyone saw how dominant he was in that game. He had other great games as well including his performance against the Lakers in which he finished with 27 points and 9 rebounds. He even capped that game off with a jumper over Lebron James to secure the win.

Last season we saw Dillon Brooks was left off of both All-Rookie teams despite him averaging 11 points and 3 rebounds while playing in all 82 games for the Grizzlies. Jackson missed a large chunk of games to end the season, but he was still rewarded with a spot on All-Rookie first team.

The future is very bright in Memphis. If Brooks can stay healthy he will be a key part of the franchise going forward and will be a good compliment on the wing to Jaren Jackson Jr. He is the face of the franchise, but they’re also set to select Ja Morant with the 2nd pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

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Jaren Jackson Jr. showed off his potential in a big way with the Memphis Grizzlies and that’s why he was selected to the All-Rookie first team. If he continues to develop as a player then he will be selected to All-NBA teams in the future.