Memphis took a flyer on the former lottery pick, who had fallen out of the favor with the Suns, and made the unusual decision early on to have him start off in the G League. It appears Jackson is on track to soon join the Grizzlies, as he has averaged 19.3 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 4.5 APG and 1.8 BPG in 33.3 MPG through four games with the Memphis Hustle.
Moreover, Jackson, who is making a little over $7MM this season, is showing improvement in two areas of concern. A subpar 3-point shooter with Phoenix, Jackson has made 10 of 17 attempts from long distance while embracing the responsibility of guarding the opponent’s top offensive threat.
The No. 4 overall pick of the 2017 draft had his 2020/21 rookie scale option turned down by Memphis, an understandable move since the Grizzlies had taken a wait-and-see approach with the 22-year-old forward from the moment they acquired him. That means Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. But the Grizzlies would certainly be interested in bringing him back if things continuing trending in the right direction.
“He’s filling up the stat sheet, making an impact on the defensive end,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins told Cobb. “(He is) wanting to take on the toughest matchups that we’re facing.”
Jackson had some well-documented off-the-court issues after getting drafted, and the Grizzlies are continuing to monitor Jackson’s behavior, according to Cobb. However, if Jackson returns to the league soon and produces, he could be a trade piece before February’s deadline, Cobb adds.