Grizzlies

Grizzlies’ Salaries Set Up Successful Future

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In a world with limited financial resources, how will Memphis fare in the luxury tax labyrinth?

With close to a month of the NBA season already complete and the Memphis Grizzlies having locked up their core—save for Dillon Brooks—it’s worth examining Memphis’ contracts for the foreseeable future.

The NBA luxury tax threshold for the 2022/2023 season is $150,267,000*. This means the Grizzlies have approximately $28,893,640 luxury tax space left to spend if desired. That’s plenty of room to make a move if management sees an opening, but it’s essential to examine every contract to determine how to allocate the remaining cap funds best.

Ja Morant – 4 yr(s) / $39,619,840 – Extended 5 yr(s) / $194,300,000

Morant signed his extension this offseason which could pay up to $231.4 million if he makes another All-NBA team, which seems almost a certainty barring injury. Only a few weeks into the season, Ja is already doing Ja things.

This extension ensures that Ja will remain in Memphis until the completion of the 2027/2028 season when the young point guard will be only 28 years old and still well within the prime of his career. Just how many Larry O’Brien trophies can Morant bring to Beale St. during that span?

For the 22/23 season, Morant will earn a base salary of $12,119,440.

Jaren Jackson Jr. – 4 yr(s) / $104,720,000

Accounting for the most prominent cap hit this season, 2022/2023 marks the first year of Trip’s extension. It’s a shame he isn’t dressing out for the start of it, but the deal is still solid bookkeeping.

The nature of JJJ’s contract is that the cap hit decreases with each successive year. His current contract goes until the end of the 2025/2026 season when he will only be 26 years old.

If Jackson Jr. stays on the court, he will have the opportunity to cash in on another contract while still in his prime. Ideally, that new deal will keep him in Memphis for the remainder of his career.

For the 22/23 season, Jackson Jr. will earn a base salary of $28,946,605.

Desmond Bane – 4 yr(s) / $9,944,923

In terms of good value, this may be the best contract in the NBA. The fact that the Grizzlies still have Desmond on his rookie deal is an absurd blessing, especially considering how he’s produced.

Memphis chose to exercise the franchise cornerstone to a 2023-24 club option, ensuring Bane will be on Beale St. until the end of the 2024 season. However, his big payday is appearing soon, as he will be eligible for a five-year rookie extension following this season.

This extension would keep Bane in Memphis until 2028, and the Grizzlies would be fools not to extend the rising star.

For the 22/23 season, Bane will earn a base salary of $2,130,240.

Dillon Brooks – 3 yr(s) / $35,000,000

Alright. Time to address the cap’s gravest specter. Management locked up or extended every one of the Grizzlies’ core for the foreseeable future…except Brooks.

Brooks will be an unrestricted free agent following the season’s conclusion, and the lack of an extension from the team seems to indicate that this may be the last ballad of Dillon as a Grizzly.

What is worth noting is the cap hit that the villain carries. When paired with the $28,893,640 that Memphis would need for the deal, it’s not hard to build an intriguing trade package for the Grizzlies. Whether or not they choose to complete a move is yet to be seen.

For the 22/23 season, Brooks will earn a base salary of $11,400,000.

Steven Adams2 yr(s) / $35,000,000 – Extended 2 yr(s) / $25,200,000

The surprise of the offseason. For a while, it seemed like Adams would be one of the players potentially on the move from the Grizz, as his contract could have fit well in some deals. This extension silenced those whispers.

After a full season in Memphis, the big man became vital to this team. With the kind of career resurgence Adams underwent after underperforming in New Orleans, he probably couldn’t wait to put pen to paper and ensure he would be playing with Morant until at least 2025.

The extension could also be viewed as a discount as the Kiwi will make $12,600,000 in his final contract year, almost five million less than what he currently earns.

For the 22/23 season, Adams will earn a base salary of $17,926,829.

Tyus Jones – 2 yr(s) / $29,000,000

Tyus was the only free agent signing by Memphis this offseason, brought back on both a team-friendly and player-friendly deal. His new agreement ensures that ‘Stones’ will remain with the Grizzlies until after the 23/24 season.

He will be 28 years old following the end of his current deal, which is well within his prime. This contract allows Tyus to pursue one more big signing in free agency to close out his career, just in time for the last two years of his potential replacement’s (Kennedy Chandler) contract to kick in.

For the 22/23 season, Jones will earn a base salary of $15,000,000.

Brandon Clarke – 4 yr(s) / $12,152,560 – Extended 4 yr(s) / $50,000,000

Memphis made sure to take their time with BC’s extension, but better late than never. What Clarke brings to this team is irreplaceable, both in terms of his physical skill and the explosive energy he provides whenever he is on the floor.

The extension is a solid deal for both parties. During the extended period, BC will make an average annual salary of $12,500,000 while guaranteeing he stays in Memphis well into his most productive years through the 2026/2027 season.

For the 22/23 season, Clarke will earn a base salary of $4,343,920.

John Konchar – 4 yr(s) / $9,000,000 – Extended 3 yr(s) / $18,495,000

The Grizzlies got Jitty with it this off-season when they inked the former Purdue Fort Worth alumni to a three-year extension worth an average of $6,165,000 per year.

The deal indicates that the front office has massive confidence in Konchar following the departure of De’Anthony Melton. Three weeks into the season, Jitty has shown that management’s confidence is well-placed.

His current extension keeps him in Memphis until the end of the 2026/2027 season, as the Grizzlies hope that Konchar continues his development.

For the 22/23 season, Konchar will earn a base salary of $2,300,000

Ziaire Williams – 4 yr(s) / $19,907,925

Though he’s yet to see action so far this season, Z is just as integral to this team’s success and future as the rest of the core. The Grizzlies proved they thought as much when they exercised the club option on the fourth year of his deal in the offseason.

With Ziaire being a major ‘make the leap’ candidate for Memphis this year, one fact worth remembering is the designated rookie rule. As they near the end of both Z’s and Santi’s rookie deals, and with Bane coming up on a payday, too, the Grizzlies may need creative bookkeeping if their young core continues its success.

For the 22/23 season, Williams will earn a base salary of $4,591,680.

Santi Aldama – 4 yr(s) / $10,243,371

No JJJ? No problem says Santi Claus.

Although he’s cooled off some, if Aldama continues to improve, his contract could replace Bane’s for the best Grizzly value. As is, the Spaniard makes just over $2 million a season.

The Grizzlies inked Santi’s club option before the season, keeping him in Memphis until the end of the 2024/2025 season with a fifth-year club option.

For the 22/23 season, Aldama will earn a base salary of $2,094,120.

Danny Green – 2 yr(s) / $20,000,000

It’s going to be a long time before fans see Green play meaningful basketball minutes in Memphis.

He seems content with that truth as he appears to be picking up a part-time analyst gig for ESPN in the meantime. With his current deal, Green would have the sixth-highest cap hit on the team, which seems like quite a bit for a guy supporters may not see play until the postseason.

Green’s place on this team remains a mystery, but with him set to make $6,964,781 guaranteed money this year and with his relationship with Coach Taylor Jenkins, expect him to stay in Memphis this season.

For the 22/23 season, Green will earn a base salary of $10,000,000.

Xavier Tillman – 3 yr(s) / $4,600,602

This may also be called the Kenneth Lofton Jr. placeholder spot on the roster. Though “X” provided a spark and then some on numerous occasions for the Grizz, Lofton Jr. essentially does most of the same feats but slightly better.

The most significant indicator here will be the date of June 23rd—the last day Memphis can exercise Tillman’s club option. This is also the date for the Grizz to pick up the qualifying offer of Jr’s two-way contract.

As the rest of the young core around him have their deal’s exercised, X remains the odd man out. So don’t be surprised if this is the last season X is a Grizzly.

For the 22/23 season, Tillman will earn a base salary of $1,782,621.

Jake LaRavia – 4 yr(s) / $14,763,367

Rookie Jake “The Snake” LaRavia has played like anything but a newcomer this season. Doing the most with the minutes given to him, he is doing the most to capitalize on the opportunity. Sure, he’s made some youngster mistakes, but for the most part, Memphis has to like his productivity.

Kyle Anderson‘s departure took a lot of talent out of Tennessee. But, despite a small sample size, LaRavia is already proving he can do what Slo-Mo did, except maybe better and at a significant discount.

Perhaps the Grizzlies drafted another All-Rookie caliber player and continued their drafting masterclass.

In 2022-23, LaRavia will earn a base salary of $3,047,640.

David Roddy – 4 yr(s) / $12,985,886

See above for David Roddy.

Like LaRavia, Rodday has done a lot with a little, and both are high-IQ basketball players. One may assume that many of their current mistakes will not continue through the season.

Big Body Roddy and LaRavia’s contracts increase yearly, so if one or both suddenly start producing less, Memphis has a way out, as they can choose not to pick up the player options.

In 2022-23, Roddy will earn a base salary of $2,588,640.

Kennedy Chandler – 4 yr(s) / $7,127,014

When the Grizzlies signed second-round pick Kennedy Chandler, they made sure he would get the most guaranteed money for an American second-round pick in NBA history.

They’re hoping for a significant return with the $4.94 million guaranteed, which makes sense as the deal is back-ended. He will make more in the final two years, right as Tyus’ current contract ends.

Of course, Memphis surmises that by the time Stones is off the books, Chandler will become the heir apparent to Ja moving forward beginning with the 2024/2025 season.

In 2022-23, Chandler will earn a base salary of $1,200,000

Looking at the Books

Memphis is in a fantastic spending position with the luxury tax. They currently rank 28th in cap hit in the NBA. That situation is incredible when you consider where the Grizzlies are with age and ability to compete. They’ve got the money and the contracts to make a move if they desire.

Either way, where the money is going is the last thing fans need to worry about.

CRAVING MORE GRIZZLIES?

Check out last week’s Recap by Luke Hatmaker (@luketeno), Bane Finds His Stride for Grizzlies in Week Two. And be sure to check out the Grizz 901 Podcast, where the Grizz Lead guys get on to discuss the most recent games and much, much more!

*Salary statistics courtesy spotrac.com unless otherwise linked

About Luke Hatmaker

Luke is based out of Nashville, TN where he lives with his cat, Dr. Alan Grant. In addition to contributing to Grizz Lead, he is one of the hosts of the No Bluffin' Podcast for the Grizz 901 Podcast Network and is also a cast member the RPG Radio Show Podcast.

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