Thursday, June 21, 2018

Grizzlies Draft Jaren Jackson, Jr. in First Round

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 7:26 PM

click to enlarge Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace.
  • Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace.

The Grizzlies got their man, it seems. After Dallas and Atlanta pulled off a pick swap that sent Luka Doncic to the Mavericks at the #3 spot, the Grizzlies selected Michigan State freshman Jaren Jackson, Jr.

Jackson is a long-term play, for sure, but given that the Grizzlies have a new coaching staff focused around player development, and that Jackson figures to get real rotation minutes in the upcoming season even as the Grizzlies try to make the playoffs, I can't say I'm disappointed in the outcome.

Of course, two things make drafting Jackson sting: firstly, if the Grizzlies had lost a couple more games, they'd have had a better chance to get the #1 overall pick and better odds at picking higher than fourth rather than falling two spots in the lottery. Second, if they hadn't traded a first round pick to Boston in the Jeff Green trade all those years ago, they'd have had a future first to trade to Atlanta for the 3rd pick instead of watching the Dallas Mavericks leap frog them to get their man.

Once it was clear Doncic would be off the board, Jackson was a logical pick. If there were other guys they preferred—guys like Kevin Knox and Wendell Carter—those guys were available farther down in the top 10, and they should have traded down. Drafting Jackson shows they think they can develop him, and that they had a plan going into the draft (even though apparently JB Bickerstaff had to sell him on the organization so he'd release his medical info to the team, according to one report). I'm fine with it. It's not the most exciting outcome, but Doncic wasn't likely to be around at 4 anyway.

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