Josh Jackson

Central Notes: Turner, Cavs, Jackson, Bulls

After Domantas Sabonis emerged as an All-Star last season, the Pacers almost sent big man Myles Turner to the Celtics during the offseason in a scuttled sign-and-trade deal for forward Gordon Hayward. Turner is striving to maintain his focus for the upcoming season with Indiana and not ruminate on the Boston trade, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

“It really was my first time going through something like that,” Turner said. “In the past, you hear your name here and there. This is the first time it really heated up.”

When they shared the court, Turner and Sabonis alternated between the center and power forward positions on offense and defense under the tutelage of former head coach Nate McMillan.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com weighed in on the first day of Cavaliers training camp, where head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has emphasized a culture of accountability. “We’re not too far off. We have the caliber guys here to really make some noise,” recently-added center Andre Drummond said. “If we don’t make it to the playoffs, we’ll be damn close.”
  • Pistons head coach Dwayne Casey sees new addition Josh Jackson as a reclamation candidate a la power forward Christian Wood, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “It’s the same thing,” Casey notes. “Everyone was saying, ‘Dwane, don’t mess with him. Leave him alone.’ I enjoy people who have a chip on their shoulder, who’ve been almost forgotten about as Josh has been.”
  • The United Center will not host fans to start the 2020/21 season for Bulls games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team tweeted on its official account.

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Plumlee, Sirvydis, Grant, Griffin

The Pistons‘ two-year deal with Josh Jackson is worth the full room exception, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). With no options on year two, Jackson is assured of earning about $9.77MM over the course of the deal, including $4.77MM in 2020/21.

Newly-signed big man Mason Plumlee, meanwhile, also has no options on the final season of his new contract with the club. The three-year deal, initially reported as being worth $25MM, technically has an overall value of $24.66MM, but it does feature a 10% trade kicker, per Smith (Twitter link).

Finally, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link) provides the details on Deividas Sirvydisnew contract. The 2019 second-round pick inked a three-year, minimum-salary deal that features full guarantees in years one and two, with a non-guaranteed salary in 2022/23.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • In a conference call with reporters today, Pistons GM Troy Weaver said that Jerami Grant was the team’s top target in free agency and that he believes the forward has All-Defensive potential (Twitter links via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press and Eric Woodyard of ESPN). “The Pistons had two iterations of great teams, and Jerami could have played on both teams,” Weaver said of Grant (Twitter link via James Edwards III of The Athletic).
  • Weaver also said that both Grant and Josh Jackson were players the team wanted to pursue aggressively when free agency opened, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “Both tremendous young men,” Weaver said. “Bring exactly what we needed for this team – long, versatile athletes that can play multiple positions. That’s today’s NBA.”
  • While the Pistons will likely be cautious with Blake Griffin after he missed most of 2019/20 with a knee injury, the former All-NBA forward isn’t interested in minutes restrictions, head coach Dwane Casey said this week (Twitter link via Edwards). “He’s full-go,” Casey said. “… We’re a different team with him.”
  • The Pistons announced today in a press release that their signing of veteran shooting guard Wayne Ellington is now official. His minimum-salary contract is fully guaranteed, tweets Keith Smith.

Pistons Sign Josh Jackson

DECEMBER 1: Jackson’s contract with the Pistons is now official, the team announced in a press release.


NOVEMBER 20: The Pistons, who have been quite busy in the first few hours of free agency, are finalizing a deal with Grizzlies small forward Josh Jackson, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. It’s a two-year deal, according to the Detroit News’ Rod Beard (Twitter link).

Detroit also reportedly reached agreements on Friday with big men Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor.

Jackson, a 2017 lottery pick of the Suns, has had a rocky NBA career. He had a number of off-court issues in his first two NBA seasons and Phoenix traded him to the Grizzlies last offseason. In an attempt to revive his career and value, Jackson agreed to spend a good portion of last season in the G League.

As the season progressed, Jackson returned to Memphis and appeared in 22 games as a reserve. He averaged 9.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.6 APG in 17.3 MPG. Jackson has made just 29.8% of his 3-point attempts during his three-year career.

Jackson, 23, grew up in Michigan and played two high school seasons in Detroit before moving to California for his last two prep years. He’ll compete for minutes against last year’s lottery pick, Sekou Doumbouya as well as Svi Mykhailiuk and rookie Saddiq Bey.

Central Notes: Harris, Crowder, Pistons, Avdija, Bulls

Forwards Joe Harris and Jae Crowder are free agents the Bucks might pursue with their mid-level exception, Eric Nehm of The Athletic speculates. Harris would provide another offensive threat, while Crowder is a defensive stalwart. If the Bucks pursue cheaper options, Josh JacksonWesley Iwundu, Gary Clark and Glenn Robinson are considerations with their biannual exception or minimum deals.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • The Pistons are putting a premium on conditioning and weight training but they’ll look to balance that with offensive improvements, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Coach Dwane Casey looks at the Heat as a model of a team with toughness and shooting. “You’ve got to have a good mixture of hard-hat guys and shooters – guys who can put the ball in the hole,” he said. “The game is leaning that way. We all have to evolve from that standpoint.”
  • Israeli forward Deni Avdija could be an ideal complement to last year’s first-round pick, Sekou Doumbouya, Langlois writes in a separate story. Avdija has similar size and positional flexibility as Doumbouya, which could allow the Pistons to exploit mismatches. His offensive skills would add another playmaker at Casey’s disposal. However, Avdija would have to slide to the Pistons’ pick at No. 7 or they’d have to trade up to land him.
  • The Bulls won’t be making major roster changes this offseason but they could pursue a wing in free agency, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago opines. They would be wise not to hand out a long-term contract, as future cap space should be preserved until they show real improvement, Schaefer adds.

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Thompson, Dellavedova, Free Agency

The Cavaliers continue to place a high value on Kevin Love and won’t deal him cheaply just to get rid of his salary, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The front office doesn’t regret giving Love a $120MM extension that will last for three more seasons, Fedor adds, and they are confident his production will increase now that clashes with former coach John Beilein will no longer be a distraction.

Cleveland is hoping to move back into playoff contention in 2020/21, which will be the third year of the rebuilding process after the loss of LeBron James. The organization believes the addition of Andre Drummond at the trade deadline will help speed up the process, along with improvement from many of the young players added over the past two years. As the Cavaliers’ most accomplished and most experienced player, Love is expected to be an important part of helping the team become a winner again.

 There’s more Cavs news to pass along:
  • Re-signing center Tristan Thompson could be the team’s most important move of the offseason, Fedor adds in the same story. In addition to his on-court production, Thompson has served as a mentor to the team’s young players, particularly rookie guard Darius Garland. Fedor doesn’t anticipate a competitive market for Thompson given the expected drop in the salary cap and speculates that he might not get any offers above the mid-level exception, which will likely be in the $8-9MM range. The Cavaliers hold Bird rights on Thompson and can easily top that.
  • Cleveland also has to make a choice on whether to bring back veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova, Fedor notes in a separate piece. The 29-year-old guard lost his spot in the rotation under Beilein because of poor shooting, but took advantage of a second chance after J.B. Bickerstaff took over. Fedor says the organization still loves Dellavedova and he will likely return on a low-cost deal.
  • With the Cavaliers needing help at the wing, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic suggests four free agent possibilities: Derrick Jones Jr., Josh Jackson, Jerami Grant and Maurice Harkless.

Central Notes: Oladipo, Respert, Cavs, Pistons

After reporting earlier this week that the Pacers aren’t considering the possibility of shopping Victor Oladipo and that the veteran guard isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star digs a little further into the subject.

A source tells The Star that Oladipo “loves” Indiana, and Michael notes that the two-time All-Star has a good, “open-door” relationship with Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan.

According to Michael, the Pacers have made it clear they’re willing to give Oladipo a maximum-salary contract once his current deal ends in 2021, assuming that’s his market value. The 28-year-old hasn’t fully regained his All-Star form since returning from a serious leg injury, but is willing to roll the dice that he can get there.

Doing so would put him in line to earn a long-term max deal in ’21 rather than settling for an early extension that wouldn’t be as lucrative or as lengthy, due to CBA restrictions — Oladipo is seeking as much security as possible on his next contract, says Michael.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Bulls director of player development Shawn Respert, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season, won’t be retained beyond 2019/20, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Interestingly, Johnson says that decision was made by Jim Boylen, who remains the Bulls’ head coach for now as he continues to be evaluated by the team’s new basketball operations decision-makers.
  • The Cavaliers are unlikely to have any cap room this offseason, but could still be a minor player in free agency, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who speculates in his latest mailbag that Derrick Jones, Michael Carter-Williams, Josh Jackson, and Harry Giles could be among Cleveland’s targets.
  • While February’s Andre Drummond trade will help ensure the Cavs don’t have cap room this offseason, moving Drummond’s contract should allow the Pistons to create upwards of $30-35MM in space, depending on where exactly the cap lands. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic explores which players Detroit could look at if the team decides to trade for unwanted contracts rather than using its room on free agents.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Valanciunas, Grizzlies

A number of people within the Pelicans‘ organization believe New Orleans would have been a guaranteed playoff team in 2019/20 if Zion Williamson had been healthy all season, writes Will Guillory of The Athletic. As such, it’ll be fascinating to see how the club approaches potential roster changes during the coming offseason.

As Guillory notes, given the strides made by Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball, the Pelicans could be in position to become a legit contender in the West in 2020/21, but it remains to be seen if head of basketball operations David Griffin is ready to get aggressive and go all-in.

Of the Pelicans’ key veterans, Derrick Favors will be a free agent, while Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick will be entering contract years, so running it back with those players is one option, but the club will have flexibility to make more substantial changes to its roster, as Guillory writes.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • As part of his usual Friday column for ESPN.com, Zach Lowe tracks Jonas Valanciunas‘ development from a young prospect who “spoke broken English (and) struggled calling out coverage on defense” to one of the NBA’s most underrated and reliable traditional big men. The Grizzlies‘ center has recorded 14.9 PPG with a career highs in RPG (11.2) and FG% (.586) in just 26.3 MPG this season.
  • Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the role that former Grizzlies swingman Tony Allen has assumed with the franchise. Allen has worked with several Memphis Hustle players in the G League this season, most notably former No. 4 pick Josh Jackson. “I let him know what he’s doing,” Allen said of Jackson. “He takes it in. He’s not one of them guys who get stubborn and doesn’t want to hear it. He takes it. And when he gets the message, it carries over on the execution side in live play.”
  • In case you missed it, earlier this week, we examined where traded 2020 draft picks would land if the NBA season doesn’t resume. Every Southwest team except the Spurs has either traded or acquired 2020 picks.

Grizzlies Notes: Iguodala, Brooks, Jackson

We’ve heard all season long that the Grizzlies are confident about their chances of trading veteran swingman Andre Iguodala before the deadline rather than having to buy him out. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, executives around the NBA suspect Memphis’ confidence stems from having an offer from the Mavericks as a fallback option. Such an offer would likely consist of Courtney Lee‘s expiring contract and the Warriors’ second-round pick.

Mavericks sources have “done their best to refute” that idea, per MacMahon. A pair of Dallas-based reporters suggested last month that the Mavs don’t plan on pursuing Iguodala. With the 2020 trade deadline right around the corner, it may just be a matter of days before we find out whether or not that’s a smokescreen. I suspect the Mavs would be willing to trade Golden State’s second-rounder, but perhaps there are targets they like more than Iguodala.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Despite only being drafted in 2017, Dillon Brooks is the longest-tenured Grizzlies player, having endured a roster overhaul and a pair of coaching staff shakeups during his three years in Memphis, writes Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com. In Wallace’s view, Brooks – who has averaged a career-best 16.0 PPG to go along with a .400 3PT% in 47 games this season – has made himself a Most Improved Player candidate as he nears restricted free agency.
  • According to Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins, the team would like to get newly-recalled forward Josh Jackson into its rotation, tweets Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. That didn’t happen on Tuesday since Jackson – who has been in the G League all season – had only had one shootaround with the NBA team.
  • If the Grizzlies can keep building on the success they’ve enjoyed so far this season, they’ll end up skipping a long, painful rebuilding process, says Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. As Giannotto observes, every time it seems as if the overachieving Grizzlies might come back to earth, they’ve been doing something else to prove that success is sustainable.

Josh Jackson On Grizzlies: They Kept Their Word

The Grizzlies acquired Josh Jackson over the summer via a trade with the Suns and decided the best course of action was to send the former No. 4 overall pick to the G League and allow him to work on his game. The team promised he would be given an opportunity at the next level if he made strides and Memphis made good on that promise earlier this week.

“They kept their word,” Jackson said, as Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian relays on Twitter.

During his time with the Memphis Hustle this season, Jackson made 38.0% of his shots from behind the arc on 6.6 attempts per game. Clearly, the franchise wanted him to work on this part of his game and he’s produced solid results.

“I’m learning a lot down here,” Jackson told Marc Spears of the Undefeated earlier this month. “I’m gaining confidence. I am working on things that I couldn’t do before. That was like one of the main things that me and the organization talked about in making this decision, was for me to work on a lot of other things.”

Jackson, who was charged last spring with escape and resisting arrest, is also maturing off the court. He recently addressed the arrest, vowing to be better in the future, telling Spears that he would have done “a bunch of things” differently if he could go back and do it all over again.

“I will never make the same mistake twice whether on the court or off the court, especially playing,” Jackson said.

Grizzlies Rule Grayson Allen Out Indefinitely, Recall Josh Jackson

Another Grizzlies bench player will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, as the team announced today in a press release that Grayson Allen will be out indefinitely with a hip injury. According to the club, the injury – which occurred when Allen fell awkwardly on his left leg during Friday’s game vs. Detroit – will require “offloading” to heal.

A first-round pick in 2018, Allen was acquired by Memphis in last summer’s Mike Conley blockbuster. The second-year shooting guard has been limited to 30 games this season due to health issues, but has had a fairly regular rotation role when healthy. He was averaging 7.2 PPG on .494/.375/.833 shooting in the 16 games leading up to his injury.

The Grizzlies are now down three roster players, with Bruno Caboclo on the shelf due to a knee injury and Andre Iguodala away from the team while he awaits a trade. Jae Crowder also missed Sunday’s game with knee soreness, though there’s no indication that’s a major issue.

To add some depth to their rotation, the Grizzlies have recalled former No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson for the first time this season, according to the team (Twitter link). Jackson, also acquired in a trade last summer, has spent the entire 2019/20 campaign in the G League, averaging 20.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.5 BPG, and 1.4 SPG in 26 games for the Memphis Hustle.

As Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian observes (via Twitter), the Grizzlies had been reluctant to call up Jackson to the NBA roster without a clearer path to playing time. It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be inserted into the rotation with Allen out, but at the very least, he’ll travel with the team for now and provide emergency depth.