MEMPHIS – It was not the way any of us wanted to see the season end, blasted by 40 in game six and bounced in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by LeBron James and the Lakers.
But no matter how ugly it ended, one thing you can’t argue against is that this Memphis team is set up for success… for seasons to come, though it will come at a price.
Jaren Jackson Junior already has his money. Money well spent as Jackson just won Defensive Player of the Year.
Ja Morant is set to cash in this summer when his new 5-year, 193 million dollar deal kicks in.
And then there’s Desmond Bane.
Bane is coming off a career year, one in which he averaged over 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists a game, shooting almost 41-percent from three. He played at the bargain basement price of just over two million dollars but this summer, he’s eligible for an extension…in the neighborhood of five years and upwards of 200 million.
“Until the pen touches the paper, nothing’s really in stone but I’m super excited to hopefully be able to get something done this summer. More importantly, I’m just thankful to be here in Memphis, be a part of the Grizzlies organization,” Bane said. “Hopefully be able to set up something here for awhile and win a championship.”>
“Des (Desmond Bane) is a cornerstone, very significant piece of this group. I think he has an opportunity, going forward, to really establish himself as a key driver, a key leader within this group,” said Grizzlies General Manager Zach Kleiman. “Yeah. I mean, whatever I’m allowed to say about our interest, our intentions to, you know, do, to extend Des this offseason, I say that. Yeah, I mean, Des is a huge part of this.”
Just imagine how well Bane might have played this year if he wasn’t nursing that injured toe. An injury suffered in mid November that cost him 17 games.
Bane was really never right, for the rest of the season and will now take the next few weeks and months to get healthy. Fully healthy with that toe.
“Those decisions are still up in the air. After talking to some doctors and kind of hashing those things out, I’m sure we’ll reach a middle ground and make a decision here soon.”