The New York Knicks will be a destination for NBA stars in the near future after putting together an impressive season. The team enters the playoffs as the fourth-seed with the league’s best defense and two rising stars in Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. Could the team look to add another? Jaren Jackson Jr. may be a potential option down the road.
“They’re concerned about his durability. In late April, Jackson, 21, made his return from an extended absence after he tore the meniscus in his left knee last August while playing in the NBA bubble. Jackson has started just two of the nine games he has played this season and he has taken periodic games off for “injury management.’’
There are a variety of intriguing connections that Jackson Jr. shares with the Knicks organization. Between the team hiring his father to become a G-League assistant coach along with his former agent at CAA, Leon Rose, being the the Knicks President of Basketball Operations, there’s plenty there.
“The Knicks recently hired Jackson’s father, Jaren Sr., to be an assistant coach with the G-League Westchester Knicks. Jackson Jr. is also a former Creative Artists Agency client of current Knicks president Leon Rose and is now with CAA’s Austin Brown.”
There’s also the fact that Knicks GM Scott Perry was a big fan of Jackson Jr.’s when he was going through the NBA Draft process. There’s isn’t rationale to feel any different at this point either based on what he has displayed during his time with the Grizzlies, to say the least.
“Sources also said Knicks general manager Scott Perry loved Jackson’s athleticism coming out of Michigan State as the draft’s youngest player when Memphis selected him fourth overall.“
There’s a lot to like about the idea of a frontcourt consisting of Julius Randle and Jaren Jackson Jr. in the future. Both players can step out and knock down three-pointers at a high-clip while being able to get downhill and make plays in the paint. Meanwhile, Jackson Jr. has a rare combination of size, length, and athleticism that enables him to guard multiple positions and protect the rim. With RJ Barrett on the wing, the Knicks would have quite an intriguing trio.
It will be important to watch the contract extension talks between Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Memphis Grizzlies this summer. He’s eligible for a new contract and the first extension isn’t a massive share of the salary cap. However, will the team look to move him before the following contract? That remains to be seen. For now, keep an eye on NBA rumors involving the Knicks.