Last season Jackson was limited to just 11 games in the regular season after rehabbing from a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The slew of rookie contract extensions continues, as Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. agreed to a four-year, 105 million dollar deal Monday morning, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Grizzlies and Jackson came to a deal on the final day for contract extensions, as the deadline to get a deal done for the 2018 draft class is 6 p.m. E.T.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 18, 2021
In his three years in the league, Jackson has emerged as one of the NBA’s brightest young stars, serving as a versatile 6-11 big man who can stretch the floor out to the three point line. At age 21, he’s barely scratched the surface of what he’s capable of doing, and by signing this extension with Memphis it ensures that he’ll grow with the young core of talent the Grizzlies have on their roster.
Last season Jackson was limited to just 11 games in the regular season after rehabbing from a torn meniscus in his left knee that cut his sophomore season short. However, when he returned last season, he showed shades of his pre-injury self, averaging 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 block per game.
In the preseason he showed no signs of any lingering issues from that injury, and should be poised for a big year with a Grizzlies team that will try to get back to the postseason for the second consecutive season. If Jackson is able to return to the player who averaged a career-high 17.4 points, and shot 39.4 percent from deep, then Memphis should be a tough team to beat.
The young core in Memphis composed of Jackson, Morant, Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane may not be competing for a title just yet, but by locking up Jackson, it ensures that Memphis can keep this core intact for years to come.
The Phoenix Suns and Deandre Ayton have concluded contract extension talks ahead of Monday’s deadline without a deal. Ayton has reportedly sought a five-year commitment worth 172 million dollar – it can escalate which could take the deal up to 207 million dollars if he earns All-NBA honors this season — similar to the deals signed by fellow 2018 draft picks Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Suns owner Robert Sarver was reportedly hesitant to make such a commitment, though, and now Ayton will enter the season without a long-term deal.
This means that Ayton will be a restricted free agent next offseason. That gives him three options. The easiest would be to sign a new, long-term deal with the Suns. Perhaps another year of growth will convince Phoenix that he is worth the max that he seeks. The second would be to pursue a deal with another team. Even if Ayton signs an offer sheet with a new team, the Suns will have the right to match it. The final, riskiest option would be for Ayton to sign the one-year, 16.4 million dollars qualifying offer Phoenix must make him in order to maintain his rights. If he does so, he would become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, free to sign with whatever team he chooses.