The Grizzlies drafted Jaren Jackson Jr with the 4th overall pick in this years draft and it has been amazing to see him play to say the least. The Summer Grizzlies started off strong, but have faltered these past few games because of fatigue or maybe its just because they are in Vegas. Either way it has been fun watching the young guys play while there is no other basketball on, to see who might make a difference next year.
To help me break down everything happening with summer league so far I’ve got some GBB staff members for our latest roundtable. Joining me are GBB Senior Writers Parker Fleming and Greg Ratliff and GBB Writers Darren Jeans and Elbert Hubbard.
Who has been the biggest disappointment so far in Summer League?
GBB Associate Editor Mark King (@king_producer) - Deyonta Davis has easily been the most depressing player out on the floor. He still does not look like he cares enough (I full realize this is just DD) but still, playing with some passion every once in a while cant hurt. The only thing he is doing well is the lobs they are throwing to him on the pick and roll but that feels forced.
GBB Senior Writer Parker (@PAKA_FLOCKA) - Deyonta Davis has been insanely disappointing. Sure, he’s had a few nice moments in some games, but you’d think a third-year big man would come into Summer League with a killer instinct. Now, his lackadaisical attitude and his little improvement may prevent him from being on the roster on opening night.
GBB Senior Writer Greg Ratliff (@GregRatliff) - Deyonta Davis. The stat sheet lies. If you went strictly by that, he’s been great, but the video proves otherwise. He still disappears at times and he looks lost on defense.
GBB Writer Darren Jeans (@TwoWordsForYa) - The biggest disappointment HAS to be Deyonta Davis. By a long shot. He’s looked absolutely lost when he’s on the court, and almost seems to not care. He’s playing as if his roster spot is guaranteed but if this continues, he will go down as another failed draft pick for the Grizzlies.
GBB Writer Elbert Hubbard (@elbertjr_TV) - I don’t know if I have seen any truly bad players for the Grizzlies during the summer league. The only down side was the second game for Jaren Jackson Jr.
Who has been the biggest surprise so far in Summer League?
Mark - The biggest surprise for me has to be Jaren Jackson Jr. I was not high on the pick in the beginning, maybe because I really wanted someone else, or maybe because I just did not know enough about the kid because he did not play a lot in college. Either way he has looked like a player that can contribute next year.
Parker - The biggest surprise so far for the Summer League Grizzlies has to be Jaren Jackson Jr. Everybody knew he was going to be good, but not this quickly. His sweet-shooting debut caught everyone off guard, and it was even more fun to see him do it against Trae “The Next Steph, but Maybe the Next Jimmer” Young. In addition, his overall offensive game looks more refined than expected. You can’t overreact in Summer League, but Jackson looks like a day-one starter.
Greg - Jaren Jackson Jr. has come out looking confident. He is definitely not scared to shoot the ball. JJJ has been pretty solid defensively as well.
Darren - Ivan Rabb and Kobi Simmons have been very impressive thus far for the Grizzlies in Summer League play. However, the biggest surprise has been Jaren Jackson Jr. He had a surprising first game posting 29 points, and going 8 for 13 beyond the arc. Though his numbers dipped after game one, he has continued to show great promise on both ends of the floor. All things considered, I’d say Grizzlies fans have every reason to be excited about Jackson’s future here in Memphis.
Elbert - The biggest surprise in summer league would have to be between Kobi Simmons and DJ Stephens. Simmons really impressed me getting to the rim and Stephens showed he still has athleticism with his highlight block in one of the games.
Do you think any player (other than draft picks or current grizzlies) will get a training camp invite or signed to the Hustle? If so, who?
Mark - Markel Crawford has looked good throughout the Summer League so far. I don’t really see him getting a training camp invite, but don’t be surprised to see him playing in Southaven this year.
Parker - The Grizzlies should just right a wrong and sign DJ Stephens to a two-way deal. He’s an explosive athlete that has improved his overall offensive game since his University of Memphis days. His defensive versatility also makes him an intriguing two-way candidate, especially for a team looking to revive grit and grind.
Greg - Brandon Goodwin. He’s come into Summer League shooting like he wants a job. He is pretty good at creating his own shot.
Darren - I struggled with this one. Outside of the current Grizzlies that are signed on to the roster, no one has really made a legitimate strong case to receive a training camp invitation. You have two University of Memphis fan favorites on the roster in D.J. Stephens and Markel Crawford. Sadly, I just don’t think they’ve done enough to earn an invitation to training camp.
Elbert - I can see Markel Crawford getting the nod for the Hustle.
What has impressed you the most about Jaren Jackson Jr.?
Mark - There are a lot of little things that are impressive about Jaren Jackson Jr. One of the most underrated is his passing ability. He can see the pocket passes of players cutting down the lane or even across the court to the three point line when he is posting his player up. That goes right along with his basketball IQ and him having the awareness to look for those players while also dealing with his man in the post.
Parker - Whomever in the pre-draft process said Jaren Jackson Jr. was a sneaky good passer is either a lucky liar or a prophet. Just wait until he’s playing with real NBA players and has more floor spacing. If he can become this good of a passer as a big man, he’ll be absolutely frightening.
Greg - His confidence and attitude. He looks far more ready to play than I could have imagined. Even if he’s still not playing well he’s still out there working.
Darren - The single most impressive aspect of JJJ is his relationship with the media. Whether he realizes it or not, he was NOT the fan pick for most Grizzlies fans. Stack that on top of a report saying he did not prefer to be drafted by Memphis, you have yourself a potential meltdown. However, he has won over the hearts of Memphians with his extraordinary personally, and charming smile.
Elbert - What impressed me the most about Jaren Jackson Jr is his ‘3 and D’ style of play. He can bang in the post, score inside and out and is a beast defensively. I like this pick the Grizzlies made and he may be another beloved player like Zach Randolph with a smooth jumper.