The Grizzlies are slowly building around their young core.
That includes signing Jaren Jackson Jr. to a lucrative contract extension.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Memphis Grizzlies F Jaren Jackson Jr., has agreed to a four-year, $105 million rookie contract extension, his agent Austin Brown of @CAA_Basketball tells ESPN. Another massive deal to secure one of league’s best young big men ahead of 6 PM ET deadline.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 18, 2021
We’ll see whether that $105 million includes any incentives that might not be so easy to achieve. Coming from the agent, this is the most player-favorable framing.
Either way, it’s less than Jackson’s max offer sheet would have been in 2022 restricted free agency – projected $128 million over four years.
A popular pick for Most Improved Player, Jackson could have earned more by waiting until free agency. The 6-foot-11 22-year-old is a 3-point-bombing, shot-blocking rising star.
With Jackson locked in, Memphis must determine the best way to deploy him. He brings the most matchup advantages at center, but he’s also thin for the position. Maybe he’ll bulk up. In the meantime, the Grizzlies have Steven Adams to do that dirty work and allow Jackson to play power forward. Adams should also leave more offensive touches for Jackson than Jonas Valanciunas would have. Ja Morant is adept at setting up Jackson.
Memphis has positioned Jackson to succeed – and will pay him as if he’ll do so.