Raphielle Johnson analyzes Jaren Jackson Jr.'s early returns and explains why fantasy managers should be excited about his trajectory this season.
RAPHIELLE JOHNSON: Jaren Jackson Jr. made his season debut Tuesday night, and he was immediately thrown into the starting lineup. Playing 25 minutes, he finished the loss to the Pelicans with 7 points, six rebounds, and five blocked shots, shooting three for 14 from the field. The shooting can be attributed to rust since he had not played in the game since last year's playoffs. So we'll take that for what it is.
And Jackson was outstanding in Friday night's win over the Thunder, shooting much better from the field and finishing with 25 points, 12 rebounds, two steals, three blocks, and three 3-pointers in 25 minutes. Ahead of that loss to the Pelicans, Grizzlies Coach Taylor Jenkins said that, while Jackson wasn't on a specific minutes restriction, the team would be smart with his workload.
The question now is, how will injuries to Desmond Bane and Ja Morant-- the latter of whom going down with a sprained ankle late in Friday's win-- change the equation for Jackson Jr.? It probably won't. But even if he's kept that 25 minutes, there's still plenty of fantasy value to be had. So managers who have him rostered must be thrilled with the early returns.