The face of the Memphis Grizzlies will be staying put for the foreseeable future after Ja Morant agreed to a five-year max rookie extension that will pay him at least $193million over five years.
The extension is the largest deal in franchise history and has the potential to reach up to $231m if Morant makes one of the league’s three All-NBA teams. The deal surpasses the five-year, $153 million contract Mike Conley signed with Memphis in 2016.
"Memphis is my home," Morant tweeted six minutes after midnight.
Morant took home the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and finished seventh in MVP voting after averaging 27.4 points and 6.7 assists per game this season. He earned his first All-Star appearance and was named second-team All-NBA after helping Memphis to a 56-26 record, matching the 2012-13 team for the most wins in franchise history.
He averaged 21.5 points, 10.5 assists and 8.7 rebounds as the Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in six games in the first round of the playoffs. He also scored a combined 115 points over the first three games in the next round against the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors, but missed the final three games with a bone bruise in his right knee.
He joins Jaren Jackson Jr. as members of the Grizzlies’ young core who are locked into long-term deals. Memphis has one of the league’s youngest rosters, and would appear to be set up to challenge for championships for the next few years.