Much like the Boston Celtics, the Memphis Grizzlies have found it challenging to come by wins of late. The ninth-placed team in the West, Memphis has dropped six of their last nine games, including a doozy of a 31-point defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
While Jaren Jackson Jr. was obviously not on the court to help contain Zion Williamson and company – Memphis’ big man has missed the entire season thus far with a knee injury – that doesn’t mean he didn’t feel a certain type of way about surrendering a season-high 144 points in the loss.
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Jaren Jackson Jr.’s Twitter Antics Kick Start Celtics Rumors
The Michigan State product quickly took to Twitter following the defeat to blow off some steam, while simultaneously piquing the interest of Celtics fans worldwide.
On the surface, this tweet is nothing more than a young player voicing his displeasure with his team’s on-court struggles. No harm…right? Not so fast. Recognizing Jackson’s irritation, a Twitter user took a shot in the dark, and surprisingly it stuck. The fan, @fastppmvp (kudos on the handle) responded to Jackson’s tweet, telling the former No. 4 overall pick to come to Boston – and against all odds, Jackson liked the tweet.
In reality, Jackson being shipped off to Boston, or any team for that matter, is likely a pipedream. Memphis has shown no indication they’d entertain the idea of moving off the 6-foot-11-inch, 242-pound big man, and it’s easy to see why. Jackson, still just 21-years-old, averaged 17.4 ppg a season ago. He also owned a reputable 39.4% shooting percentage from behind the arc.
Even more enticing, as NBCS Boston highlighted, Jackson would come on an extremely team-friendly salary. On his rookie deal through 2021-22 with a qualifying option available the following year, Jackson carries a cap hit of $7.3 million this season (via Spotrac).
Jackson Returns to Practice; To Return After All-Star Break?
The biggest concern for any potential suitors of Jackson would revolve around his surgically repaired knee. Yet, the big-man looks to be ramping things up of late. This month he began to put up shots during warmups without a brace on his left knee. According to Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, Jackson, alongside teammate Justice Winslow, has been integrated into practices on a limited basis.
“He’s [Jackson] been participating in practice to a certain degree,” Jenkins said pregame Wednesday. “Nothing live or anything like that but just trying to integrate him with his teammates as possible.”
While the Grizzlies have yet to set an official return date for Jackson, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the organization is optimistic of a post-All-Star return for Ja Morant’s “co-star.”
“I think there’s optimism, there’s hope that we will see him sometime after the second half of the season,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s NBA Countdown. “That midseason break of March 5 to March 10. Sometime after that.”
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