Suggested FA target Josh Jackson could find rebirth with Cavs

Memphis Grizzlies wing Josh Jackson shoots the ball. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Memphis Grizzlies wing Josh Jackson shoots the ball. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Josh Jackson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Memphis Grizzlies wing Josh Jackson handles the ball. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

Suggested free agent target Josh Jackson could fit really well with the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

It’s clear that the Cleveland Cavaliers are not going to be swinging for the fences in the upcoming free agency period. Given how the novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted the NBA’s 2019-20 season, it also seems that the salary cap could further decrease for 2020-21.

Cleveland has not historically been a sought-out free agency destination, either. Plus, with teams around the NBA looking to keep their cap space for a loaded 2021 free agency class, too, the upcoming one won’t produce tons of fireworks. That won’t likely pertain to the Cavs, anyhow, and especially with Andre Drummond reportedly likely to pick up his $28.8 million player option.

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When on the topic, though, what could we perhaps see for the Cavaliers in 2020 free agency, then?

The club could reportedly throw their hat in the ring for Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr., maybe via the full mid-level exception, per The Athletic‘s John Hollinger in a conversation with The Athletic‘s Kelsey Russo (subscription required).

That MLE is set to likely be in the ball park of $8-9 million, though it could reportedly end up being less, per’s Chris Fedor, who also highlighted Jones previously as a possible target for the Cavs last month.

As Hollinger essentially emphasized, however, it’s another story for Cleveland to actually land Jones, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent, even with a full MLE offer.

So who could be another target for Cleveland in 2020 free agency then? Fedor in that aforementioned piece mentioned wing Josh Jackson, who is set to be unrestricted as well, and not with that full MLE offer.

Fedor said, while also mentioning Michael Carter-Williams, Maurice Harkless and Harry Giles in the same realm, that Jackson or those other three could be targeted with a “more favorable price tag.”

That’s seemingly if Jones couldn’t be acquired.

Jackson could fit very well next season, and find a career rebirth with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jackson is a player that has seemed to turn himself around mentally since being traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Memphis Grizzlies. Jackson, who was previously arrested and charged with a felony for escaping and a misdemeanor for resisting arrest at the Rolling Loud music festival in 2019 in Florida, then per Daune Rankin of the Arizona Republic, is seemingly in a better place.

That’s according to former Suns general manager Ryan McDonough on a Thursday appearance on 92.3 The Fan’s “Baskin and Phelps,” as was h/t Sam Amico of Sports Illustrated.

Amico also detailed via the above article link, how the 6-foot-8 and very athletic Jackson would seem to be a quality 3 man target for the Cleveland Cavaliers, even while his career has fizzled out to this point. Amico even touched on how Jackson was said to be seemingly untouchable in trade talks between the Cavs and Suns in 2017.

"“How much did the Suns like Jackson? Well, they refused to include him in trade talks with the Cavs that were centered on Kyrie Irving. That was back in August 2017, shortly after Jackson got drafted. No one beyond Cavs GM Koby Altman and former Suns GM Ryan McDonough really knows how close the teams got to a deal. All we really know is Irving was eventually traded to the Celtics and the Suns kept Jackson.”"

Jackson again did not ultimately have his situation work out with the Suns, but as Amico noted, he did still put up decent numbers, albeit on a rebuilding team.

Though Jackson had primarily been playing with the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate team pre-league suspension, where he played well, he was effective as a rotational contributor for the Grizzlies at least when given chances, too.