The Memphis Grizzlies looked strong at times during the regular season last year, as they finished 51-31 and earned the second seed in the Western Conference.
However, their season ended with a thud when the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated them in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
In an attempt to take the next step, Memphis brought in former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, as well as veteran guard Derrick Rose.
Rose said his decision to leave the New York Knicks in free agency to come to Memphis started with a conversation he had with Ja Morant, via New York Basketball on Twitter.
Derrick Rose on leaving NY for Memphis: "Started with me reaching out to Tony Allen to get Ja number…led to my agent talking to the Grizzlies…mentioning me coming in. Something I never thought about…It just made sense…I still feel like I could play…" pic.twitter.com/E1MZyvfCZT
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) October 2, 2023
Some may not remember that Rose was once named the NBA MVP during the 2010-11 season, and although a myriad of injuries robbed him of much of his abilities in the years since, he has remade himself into a decent reserve player.
Last season, he played a career-low 12.5 minutes a game for the playoff-bound Knicks, but he said he feels he can still play and contribute.
There is also a belief that Rose was brought in so that he could be a mentor for Morant, who is one of the game’s best and most exciting players, but he also seems troubled.
He has been involved in a number of gun-related incidents in recent months, and the latest one resulted in him being suspended for 25 games, a suspension that will be served this season.
Like Morant, Rose was a high-flying guard during his prime, and like Morant, Rose was involved in an off-the-court incident that threatened to tarnish his reputation.
The Grizzlies are hoping to go deep in the playoffs this season with a deeper and, they think, a more mature roster.NEXT: Ja Morant Reacts To Jaren Jackson Jr.'s Hilarious Comments