Jaren Jackson Jr., the standout forward for the Memphis Grizzlies, didn't sugarcoat his feelings about his team's reality in the aftermath of Ja Morant's 25-game ban.
The Grizzlies will miss their All-Star point guard, who will serve a one-year suspension without pay for "conduct detrimental to the league"
after posing with a pistol in a car during an Instagram live-streamed video in May.
"We just have to navigate it," Jackson told ESPN's Tim Bontemps ahead of Team USA's preseason game against Puerto Rico on Monday, with the FIBA World Cup on the horizon.
"Obviously, we understand that not having Ja is a significant gap to fill, but, you know, he's not, it's not like he's not going to be around."
"He's going to give us all the tools we need to get that done." Morant, who turns 24 on Aug. 10, is barred from participating in any public league or team activity
including preseason games, during his ban, the NBA stated in June.He must also meet certain conditions before being restored.
It happened less than two months after NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended Morant for eight games for displaying a weapon on social media while at a Denver-area nightclub.