August 20, 2022

Memphis Grizzlies All-NBA guard Ja Morant has agreed to a five-year designated rookie extension that will likely be worth $231 million, his agent, Jim Tanner of Tandem/YouFirst Sports, told ESPN.

Morant, who made the All-NBA second team, is guaranteed $193 million and will trigger supermax escalators to take the deal up to $231 million by landing on one of three All-NBA teams again. the league.

The deal also includes a 15% trade kicker, Tanner said.

“Memphis is my home,” Morant wrote on Twitter.

At 22, Morant has established himself as a true superstar, averaging 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists last season.

“Over the past three seasons, Ja has truly become an NBA superstar and a TV staple,” Tanner told ESPN. “From Rookie of the Year to NBA All-Star Starter, All-NBA Second Team and Most Improved Player, we are incredibly proud of him for his dedication to improving his game and becoming a leader in team. The Grizzlies are a perfect fit for Ja. The organization and the city embraced him.

“The sky is the limit for Ja on and off the pitch, and we look forward to helping him continue to build his league legacy.”

The Grizzlies tied a franchise record with 56 wins and advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last season.

Morant won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and made the All-Star team for the first time. Along the way, he’s solidified himself as one of the league’s most electrifying players – and one of its best young talents – thanks to a string of showpieces on the pitch and an equally outsized personality. .

This combination has made Morant one of the young faces of the NBA and has helped make the Grizzlies one of the most exciting up-and-coming teams in the league, with a vast array of young talent surrounding him, including the big man Jaren Jackson. Jr. and guard Desmond Bane. They locked up another player Thursday night, agreeing to a two-year, $30 million deal with free agent guard Tyus Jones.

Despite playing in one of the league’s smaller markets, Morant became one of the league’s top endorsers, including national commercial campaigns with Sony/Spiderman and Hulu and marketing deals with Nike. , Beats by Dre and Panini, among others.

After finishing second in the Western Conference this season behind the Phoenix Suns, Memphis beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in six hard-fought games in a first-round playoff win — its first series win since 2015 — before to lose to the Golden State Warriors. in six games in the Western Conference semifinals.

Morant, who scored a total of 115 points in Golden State’s first three series games — including a playoff career-high 47 points in a Game 2 victory — has missed the last three games against the Warriors with a knee injury.

Murray State’s second pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Morant was the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year. He immediately put his stamp on the franchise and quickly brought the Grizzlies from the era.” Grit ‘n’ Grind”. of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in this new young and fast team led by coach Taylor Jenkins.

This included Morant taking on Damian Lillard inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Florida as a rookie in the league’s first tournament game – then turning around and knocking out favorite Warriors at San Francisco in 2021 in the qualifying tournament to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in his career.

ESPN NBA reporter Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.