On Saturday night, the Boston Celtics had a massive comeback and came away with a 112-103 away victory against the Memphis Grizzlies. Following the game, though, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens could not help but sing the praises of Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jackson had another good outing against the C's, and Stevens was so impressed with what he saw in the 19-year-old that he went as far as comparing Jackson to Celtics sophomore Jayson Tatum:
Brad Stevens on Jaren Jackson Jr.: “It sounds like he’s sort of an old soul, maybe a little bit like Tatum from a standpoint of kind of ahead of his years, and being able to play and impact the NBA game.”
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) December 30, 2018
That's quite a compliment coming from a man who is a firsthand witness to the continuous rise of Tatum. Stevens certainly has an eye for talent, and he appears to see a lot of that in Jackson.
On Saturday, Jackson put up 15 points against the Celtics on 5-of-7 shooting. The 6-foot-11 big man also chipped in one 3-pointer, four rebounds, and one steal in just 22 minutes of action.
On the season, the Michigan State product is averaging a serviceable 13.2 points (on 51.6 percent shooting), 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, and a very impressive 1.7 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game of action. He has been reliable as the team's starting power forward and has done well playing alongside Grizzlies star Marc Gasol.
The Grizzlies used their fourth overall pick on Jackson in June's draft, so they certainly have a lot riding on the youngster. Jaren Jackson Jr. has been proving worth the pick so far, and he looks to be one of the team's cornerstone players of the future.