Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team has signed 2018 first round draft pick Jaren Jackson Jr. to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Selected fourth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, Jackson became the second player in Big Ten history to win both Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season after leading the conference and ranking seventh in the nation in blocks per game (3.03) for Michigan State University.
Jackson (6-11, 242) started 34 of his 35 games at Michigan State and averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.8 minutes while shooting 51.3 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three-point range and 79.7 percent from the free throw line en route to being selected to the All-Big Ten Third Team and Big Ten All-Freshman Team. The 18-year-old set a Spartans single-season record last year with 106 blocks and tied the school’s single-game record with eight rejections on Dec. 5, 2017 vs. Rutgers.
The Indiana native, who was named a 2017 McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American as a high school senior, is the highest-drafted Michigan State product since 1979, when Magic Johnson was selected first overall and Greg Kelser was taken fourth. Jackson’s father, Jaren Sr., enjoyed a 12-year NBA career with nine different teams, winning the 1999 NBA Championship as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.