Grizzlies exercise rookie options for Morant, Clarke, Bane
Memphis took formal steps to keep its youthful talent with the team a bit longer.
The Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies exercised the rookie contract options for 2022-23 for point guard Ja Morant, forward Brandon Clarke and guard Desmond Bane on Saturday.
The No. 2 pick overall in 2019, Morant was the NBA Rookie of the Year and has started all 130 games played through his first two seasons. He has averaged 18.4 points, 7.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Morant also led the Grizzlies to the playoffs last spring and averaged 30.2 points and 8.2 assists against top-seeded Utah.
Clarke, 25, was the 21st pick overall in 2019 out of Gonzaga. He was voted to the NBA All-Rookie first team after setting the single-season record among qualified rookies by shooting 61.8%. Clarke has started 20 of 117 games, averaging 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds over 23.2 minutes a game.
Bane started 17 of 68 games last season as a rookie. The 30th pick overall out of TCU averaged 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 22.3 minutes per game as a rookie. He set a franchise rookie record shooting 43.2% from 3-point range, leading all NBA rookies as the best 3-point shooting percentage since 2009-10.