The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises the last two years, as they’ve gone from a team that looked like it would be staring down a lengthy rebuilding process after the end of the Grit N Grind era, to a playoff team in just two seasons.
Still, this is a team that is keeping focus on the future, using this offseason to add more young talent and continue trying to figure out who is and isn’t part of their long-term vision, even while trying to compete in the immediate. The two unquestioned members of that long-term core in Memphis are Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., heading into their third and fourth years respectively. Morant has become one of the NBA’s best young point guards and is in line for what one figures to be a max extension next year.
Jackson, meanwhile, has shown flashes of his immense talent on both ends of the floor in his three seasons with the Grizzlies, but has only played in 126 games over those three years due to injuries. That has kept him from tapping into his full potential so far, but Memphis is banking on that happening sooner than later, inking him to a four-year, $105 million extension on Monday just ahead of the extension deadline, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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
It’s the type of deal that makes sense for both parties, as Jackson gets some financial security despite his injury history, while the Grizzlies get a tremendous talent on a deal that could very well look like a steal if Jackson can stay on the floor and continue his upward trajectory. Jackson joins Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Michael Porter Jr., Mikal Bridges, and Robert Williams III as members of the 2018 Draft class to ink extensions this offseason, with the most notable exception remaining being No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton.