After earning the No. 5 overall pick in last June’s draft, the Memphis Grizzlies used it to select former Michigan State Spartans center Jaren Jackson Jr. Upon watching his numerous highlights, many fans, including current point guard Mike Conley, were in awe over his shooting touch and handles, which are both incredible for a guy his size.
As the two players got more acclimated with one another, the veteran has not only lauded his offensive prowess but the rookie’s defensive potential as well.
Conley says Jaren Jackson Jr is a perfect guy for what they are trying to do. Calls him a nightmare on the defensive end
— Eli Savoie (@Eli560) September 13, 2018
If the Vegas Summer League was any indication, Conley may have hit the nail right on the head.
Jackson averaged an unworldly 3.8 blocks per contest and a total of 19 during the entire tournament. While this was obviously a far cry from the talent level he’ll face as the seasons begins, the young player displayed great timing and impeccable leaping ability that should serve him well.
Most importantly, he lessened his fouls to 3.6 per game, which allowed him to stay on the floor longer.
The Grizzlies, though, may opt to bring his development along slowly, choosing to start him next to Marc Gasol or have him come off the bench. Still, his talent is undeniable and people would expect him to affect the game immediately, especially on defense.
With what Conley has said, Jackson is a perfect fit for the team they’re trying to build so coach J.B. Bickerstaff would we wise to throw him right into the fire. After all, with what we’ve seen so far, Triple J is ready for this challenge.