Report: Former Suns F Josh Jackson to start season in G League

Sep 27, 2019, 9:33 AM | Updated: 9:37 am
Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, prepares to shoot as Portland Trail Blazers forward Mauric...
Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, prepares to shoot as Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, center, and center Jusuf Nurkic, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)
(AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

The Phoenix Suns viewed Josh Jackson, the No. 4 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, as a sunk cost. That’s why they included him in a salary-dump trade with the Memphis Grizzlies this summer.

It appears his new team also feels the once-promising prospect has quite a bit of work to do — and a lot to prove. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Jackson will begin the 2019-20 season on the Grizzlies’ G League squad, the Memphis Hustle.

Jackson will not even join the rebuilding Grizzlies in training camp, and Charania adds the decision is “designed for him to earn opportunity” with the Grizzlies.

On July 3, Phoenix traded Jackson, point guard De’Anthony Melton and two second-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for veteran shooter Kyle Korver and second-year point guard Jevon Carter.

The Suns released Korver following the offseason transaction.

Phoenix general manager James Jones’ decision to move on from Jackson was one of several summer moves to reset the culture around a franchise building around stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

Erratic play and erratic off-the-court behavior by Jackson led the Suns to move on at quite the cost.

Jackson was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and escape at a music festival in Florida back in May. He was later accused in Maricopa County Family Court of exposing his then-4-month-old child to marijuana, per court documents.

The 22-year-old additionally faced scrutiny during last season, when he skipped a public appearance that led to the Suns fining him.

And on the court, Jackson struggled.

He was benched as a rookie by interim coach Jay Triano. In his first two seasons, he averaged 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 156 appearances and 64 starts. But his poor decision-making, shooting percentages and team defense took their tolls: Jackson ranked last among 530 NBA players with -1.7 win shares, per Basketball-Reference.

Penguin Air

Penguin Air

Empire of the Suns

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton still Suns’ priority, says GM: ‘We want to keep it together’

Suns general manager James Jones said nothing has changed on the Deandre Ayton front over the past several weeks, from his seat at least.
2 days ago
General manager, James Jones of the Phoenix Suns before Game One of the Western Conference Second R...
Kellan Olson

GM James Jones clarifies ESPN article on Phoenix Suns’ draft strategy

Suns GM James Jones clarified an ESPN article that painted a detailed picture of the team's unorthodox practices in the NBA Draft.
2 days ago
NBA draft prospects pose for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, before the start of...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA Draft live blog: Pistons deal for C Jalen Duren in trade-heavy night

Visit ArizonaSports.com for Phoenix Suns coverage as they stand pat without a draft pick or move into the Thursday action.
2 days ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns in the third quarter at Crypto.com Arena on April 06, 2022 ...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson ready for upcoming process, extension talks with Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson discussed the contract extension he is eligible to receive this offseason and how he's approaching it.
3 days ago
Jamaree Bouyea #1 of the San Francisco Dons makes a move along the baseline while being defended by...
Kellan Olson

2022 NBA Draft targets for Phoenix Suns: Projected undrafted sleepers

Could the Phoenix Suns find a rotation player in the undrafted rookie free agent market after the 2022 NBA Draft?
5 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Ish Wainright #12 after scoring against the Dallas...
Kellan Olson

Deandre Ayton’s Suns teammates want RFA C back, supporting him

A few of Deandre Ayton's teammates expressed support for him and a desire for the restricted free agent to stay with the Suns.
4 days ago
Report: Former Suns F Josh Jackson to start season in G League