Grizzlies: 3 huge implications of Jaren Jackson Jr.’s $105M extension

Jaren Jackson Jr, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Jaren Jackson Jr, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Implication No. 2: Jaren Jackson Jr. proved himself enough in preseason play to convince the Grizzlies to sign him long-term

The Grizzlies had a couple of choices this offseason in regards to Jaren Jackson Jr.’s contract. They could either extend his contract, which they would eventually do, or give him another full season of basketball before making a decision.

They elected to extend him by four years.

The most likely conclusion here is that the Grizzlies wanted to see how he’d perform in the preseason. If that was the test that they gave Jackson, he succeeded with flying colors. JJJ scored 18 points per game — second on the team to only Ja Morant. Defensively, he blocked 1.2 shots and stole the ball 0.8 times per contest.

But his three-point shooting was the real promising factor.

In a shortened season for Jackson in 2020-21, the former Michigan State big struggled to shoot the basketball — something that was generally considered to be the biggest strength of this game. He didn’t have a huge sample size, but on the year, he only knocked down 28.3% of his long-range shots, worrying a handful of fans.

During this year’s preseason, he squashed those worries by hitting nearly 50% of his deep-range shots (48.3%). Obviously, this isn’t a number that he can maintain. That said, it was still a reminder that he may be the best three-point-shooting big man in the NBA. There’s no reason why he can’t shoot over 40% in the upcoming season.

This may have been enough for the Grizzlies to sign him long-term.