MikeCheck: Josh Jackson’s path to Grizzlies role will start on assignment with G League’s Memphis Hustle

MikeCheck: Josh Jackson’s path to Grizzlies role will start on assignment with G League’s Memphis Hustle

MEMPHIS – Former NBA lottery pick Josh Jackson’s fresh start in Memphis this season will require earning that opportunity through a stint with the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate, team sources confirmed.

Jackson’s representatives and the Grizzlies have mutually agreed to allow the forward to restore his reputation on and off the court through an undisclosed set of guidelines, according to team officials.

As part of the understanding, Jackson will not attend Grizzlies media day on Monday and will not participate alongside teammates in training camp when practices start Tuesday. According to team officials, Jackson will spend the coming weeks preparing for the season with the Memphis Hustle.

Josh Jackson handling the ball

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Josh Jackson #20 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Talking Stick Resort Arena on April 03, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Grizzlies acquired Jackson, guard De’Anthony Melton and two future second-round picks from Phoenix in a July trade that sent Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter to the Suns. The fourth overall pick out of Kansas in the 2017 NBA Draft, Jackson has battled issues on and off the court during his turbulent two-year career in Phoenix. Memphis could represent a second chance for Jackson to reboot his career and reach his potential after averaging 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and a steal in 156 NBA games.

That process apparently will require the 6-8, athletic Jackson to take positive and methodical steps in advance of and through the G League assignment with the Hustle. The Grizzlies’ roster includes Jae Crowder, Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson among options at the small forward spot Jackson has played.

Theoretically, Jackson’s combination of versatility and age at 22 could make him an ideal fit with a Memphis young core of Jaren Jackson Jr. and rookie draft picks Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke. Josh Jackson (fourth), Jaren Jackson Jr. (fourth) and Morant (second) give the Grizzlies three players selected in the top four of the last three NBA Drafts.

Jackson is set to earn $7 million this season on a rookie-scale contract that includes a team option for the 2020-2021 season. Earlier this week, the Grizzlies reached an agreement with Andre Iguodala that won’t require the veteran forward to report to training camp as the sides continue to explore trades.

The Grizzlies play their first exhibition game Oct. 6 at home against Maccabi Haifa, open the regular season Oct. 23 at Miami and return for their home opener at FedExForum Oct. 25 against Chicago.

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