Boardroom zeroes in on the details of the Grizzlies’ new, massive Ja Morant contract poised to keep the young star in Memphis for years to come — and it could grow even bigger.
The word exciting does not begin to describe Ja Morant. As the centerpiece on the Memphis Grizzlies’ new-age iteration of “Grit ‘n’ Grind” first made famous by Zach Randolph and Tony Allen a decade ago, Morant has gone from 2019-20 rookie sensation to bonafide NBA superstar in just two years’ time.
Now, the 2019 No. 2 overall pick has joined his draft-mate, No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, in signing a rookie max contract, later joined by fellow class of 2019 star Darius Garland of the Cavaliers. The Grizzlies offered him a five-year, $192.85 million rookie max extension, which Ja officially signed on July 1, tweeting a now-viral photo to celebrate the news:
After an unexpected season that saw the Grizzlies win 56 games and reach the Western Conference semifinals, the team locked up its franchise through 2028 — at which point he’ll be expected to be eligible for a Designated Veteran Player Extension, better known as the “supermax.”
In the meantime, Boardroom looks at the numbers behind this groundbreaking Ja Morant contract.
Ja Morant Contract Details & Salary
Total value: $192,850,000
Average annual value: $38,570,000
Free agency: 2028
NOTE: The value of Morant’s contract can escalate to the full $231,000,000 rookie max extension if he makes an All-NBA team in 2022-23.
Remaining salary under current deal:
Annual rookie max salary earnings (at $192,850,000 total):
Morant’s contract is the same one signed by Zion’s, and Ja also has a bonus where the total amount of the deal will skyrocket to over $231 million if he makes an All-NBA team in 2022-23, the final year before the extension kicks in. That would in turn Morant up to receive a true supermax deal worth 35% of the salary cap at the age of 28.
Given that he was an All-Star starter this past season, his trajectory as a player (and the health of his bank account) can rise as high as he so routinely does above the rim.
Morant also has the “Poison Pill “provision in place from now until July 1, 2023 because of this new extension. In short, it would make it more complicated financially for the Grizzlies to move him before his upcoming massive pay raise. He also has a 15% trade bonus should Memphis decide to trade him.
Ja Morant’s Career Earnings
NBA SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2021-22: $27,500,400
TOTAL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2027-28 (no All-NBA in 2022-23): $232,469,840
TOTAL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2027-28 (makes All-NBA in 2022-23): $273,669,840