Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson Jr. voted most likely to breakout this season in annual NBA GM survey

Evan Barnes
Memphis Commercial Appeal
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The expectations for Jaren Jackson Jr. to have a greater impact on the Memphis Grizzlies went higher Tuesday after NBA general managers praised him in their annual preseason survey.

Jackson was picked most likely to have a breakout season after receiving 17% of the votes, just ahead of Timberwolves' second-year guard Anthony Edwards (13%). Ja Morant was tied for fourth in votes.

Jackson played in 11 games last season after recovering from meniscus surgery on his left knee. His 14.4 points per game were down from his 2019-20 average (17.4 points) and his 3-point shooting fell sharply from 39.4% to 28.3%.

Now that he's healthy to start his fourth season, he forms one of the league's most exciting young duos with Morant, who also earned love in the survey.

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Morant (24%) was voted the second-fastest player with the ball behind Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (59%). He was also voted the fifth most athletic player in the league behind Zion Williamson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Edwards and Zach LaVine.

The Grizzlies were also tied for the third-most promising young core, receiving 7% of votes along with the Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns. The team also received votes as the most fun to watch and a candidate for most improved team in 2021-22, although they were not picked to be a top-8 seed in the Western Conference.

The Grizzlies open preseason play Tuesday hosting the Milwaukee Bucks (7 p.m., TNT/Bally Sports Southeast) and begin the regular season Oct. 20 at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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You can reach Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at [email protected]

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