Josh Jackson Is Finally 'Free' But Please Excuse My Skepticism
Monday the Memphis Grizzlies announced that third-year player Josh Jackson was finally going to be called up from the Memphis Hustle to join the team before their matchup with Denver. Many in the fanbase are excited to see Jackson finally get his shot to show and prove to the organization, but I for one am still dealing with traces of skepticism.
Since the Grizzlies acquired Josh Jackson this Summer, no one has been a bigger advocate for him than I have. I am a sucker for reclamation proclamation projects - a sucker for knuckleheads. My many years of working fulltime with inner-city youth are clearly to blame for this. It's also the reason why I will pridefully brag on the rehabilitating energy for the city that I have called home for my entire life - Memphis, Tennessee.
I've always felt that if the Grizzlies brought Jackson into camp that the fanbase would embrace his style of play. The city has a fetish for guys that play hard-nosed defense, play with an edge and have just enough crazy mixed into their DNA. Josh Jackson checks off all of these boxes.
Jackson, a 6'8" wing, averaged 20.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the G League this season. He has a lot of the tools that this young Grizzlies team could value being that he is a good defender, has the athleticism to score from several areas of the court and is able to play multiple positions. As far as being able to contribute on the court, Jackson brings a lot to the table but with that being said, I'm still not totally convinced that we will actually get to see him be a part of what the Grizzlies are doing going forward.
I have been adamant about how I felt like the assignment of Josh Jackson to the Memphis Hustle instead of bringing him to camp was a poor decision by the Grizzlies. In my opinion, the G-League is for the development of players' games on the court and not supposed to be used as a method of punishment or rehabilitation for a player's bad behavior' off of the court. I've always said that if the Grizzlies didn't feel comfortable with Jackson to the point where they wanted to have him be a part of the team then they should have waived him and given him a fair opportunity to catch on with another team - especially given that he is in a contract year.
As Jackson prepares to possibly make his debut tonight I still have my concerns. Is this an effort to possibly showcase Jackson before a possible trade to a team that wants to see him in actual NBA action? Is this just a call-up to make numbers work with several players being unavailable? Or is it a legit chance for Jackson to show that he belongs not only with this team but in the NBA. I am relieved to see that Jackson has been called up from the G-League, a place that I for one feel like was borderline disrespectful to have him, but please forgive me for not being as optimistic as many others assumed that I would be.
I am happy to see him get called up but I am not sold that the reason is to actually let him be a part of something long term with the Grizzlies. I'm sorry but at this point, I will actually have to see it to believe it. There have been several opportunities when it made sense to call Jackson up. Several instances when two-way players like John Konchar and Yuta Watanabe were called up before him. I think that is way past time to give him a look in all honesty. I am all for seeing Josh Jackson succeed in this league. Trust and believe that. Unfortunately, I'm just not confident enough to say at this point that it will be with the Grizzlies. I will believe it when I see it - and would I ever love to see it.
Josh Jackson Comments After First Shootaround With The Team
Coach Taylor Jenkins Comments On Jackson
Ja Morant Comments On Jackson