1. Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Grizzlies’ resident “unicorn”, Jaren Jackson Jr is the epitome of the modern big. In his rookie year, Jackson showcased a game that has limitless potential. He has already shown excellent defensive abilities, comfort handling the ball, and a good shooting touch. He has a chance to emerge as a true superstar and the Grizzlies’ best player this year.
Jackson has shown the ability to score inside and out, something that will be important for the team this season. He will serve as the top option on offense, which will allow him to showcase his development in his second season. His shooting touch will help space the floor. His ability to handle the ball will help him effectively utilize his abilities and exploit mismatches. The key for Jackson offensively is consistency as his role increases.
Defensively, Jackson has shown potential to anchor the team as a rim protector. He tied a franchise record with seven blocks in a game last year. His athleticism allows him to recover well, and defend across multiple positions. He must improve his rebounding numbers this season, though. For a team looking to play at a high tempo, securing defensive boards is vital. Jackson also must keep his fouls down, something that he struggled with in preseason play.