Former Memphis Tiger and NBA MVP Derrick Rose has agreed to a two-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, according to sources. The deal is a fully guaranteed deal for two years, $6.5 million.
Memphis signed Rose to play a backup role and be the leader of the locker room for a young, developing group. The Grizzlies looked to sign either a small forward or a backup point guard with the mid-level exception to cover the final roster spot.
Many fans in Memphis remember Rose for his time at the University of Memphis, where he led the Tigers to a National Championship appearance. Rose was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the number one pick in 2008 and became the youngest MVP in league history at 22 years old.
His career was derailed due to an ACL injury that would affect the trajectory of things. Since then, Rose has played for the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Pistons, and Knicks.
It is a true full-circle moment for Rose and Memphis fans as the 14-year veteran makes his return to the city at the professional level. Rose averaged around five points, two rebounds and two assists in 27 games last year for the Knicks.
What Does It Mean for Memphis
Rose will be expected to play off the bench as a backup behind Marcus Smart until Ja Morant returns from suspension. He will also serve as the team’s veteran leader, which has been something Memphis has been in dire need of.
Steven Adams did a good job of being a leader for the young core, but the acquisition of Rose will propel the growth of the team mentally as he has been in the league longer. Rose has been against some of the greatest NBA players such as Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and many others.
In the last three years, Memphis has been outmatched by experience and leadership. The team hit a brick wall in the first round this past year against the Los Angeles Lakers, who had two great veterans in Lebron James and Anthony Davis, arguably two of the best at their position.
The acquisition of Derrick Rose also does wonders for Ja Morant as many NBA fans view Morant as the closest thing to Derrick Rose with his athleticism and ball handling. One can only imagine what the young guard will learn play-wise from Rose.
Morant also could gain some much-needed guidance from Rose as the veteran has had a run-in with off-court problems. Nothing to the extent that Morant has done, but guidance is guidance, something we learned this week from Kendric Davis, who spoke to Morant about the off-court issues.