Will the Grizzlies extend JJJ this summer?

Sports

Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) shakes hands with guard Grayson Allen (3) during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

MEMPHIS — It has been a busy past few days for the Grizzlies, first drafting both Ziaire Williams and Santi Aldama and then passing on the 13-million dollar team option for Justise Winslow.

Now comes the start of the NBA’s free agency period with the only substantial move the Grizzlies must decide on, whether or not to extend the contract of Jaren Jackson Junior.

Make no mistake.  Jackson will be in Memphis next season but heading into his fourth year with the Grizzlies, Jackson is eligible for an extension.

The two sides have until the start of the season to reach a deal.

A deal that could be worth between 80 and 100 million dollars.  Maybe north of 100 million.

If there is no deal by October, the two sides can still negotiate an extension next summer before Jackson becomes a restricted free agent.

Making things harder is the fact that Jackson has played less than two dozen games over the past year and a half due to injury.

Jackson, though, remains a huge part of this team’s future.

“100%.  Jaren is a cornerstone of this franchise,” said Grizzlies General Manager Zach Kleiman.  “Jaren and Ja and there’s so many other guys that we’re thrilled to have as part of this team and to continue to grow with.  What we’ve kind of worked on here, it positions Jaren to take on an even more of a sizable offensive role.  I think we’re going to be our best selves, over time, with Jaren spacing the floor, attacking, creating.  Defensively, really taking advantage of the versatility that he brings to the table.”

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