Dan Devine explains how the former MVP can provide the much-needed guidance and mentorship for Morant in Memphis
Memphis Grizzlies signed Derrick Rose on a two-year $6.5 million deal not only to add a veteran presence to their roster but to also primarily help their troubled young star, Ja Morant.
Discussing the same on the ‘No Cap’ podcast, NBA Analyst, Dan Devine, asserted the expectations from the former MVP to help the 2-time All-Star navigate through his suspension and its aftermath; to become a better version of himself.
“I talked to some people in Memphis media that were like, ‘If there’s somebody that Ja’s gonna maybe like listen to…(its Rose),’” Devine exclaimed whilst discussing D Rose’s role in Memphis. “Somebody who can talk to Ja from the perspective of, ‘I’ve been at the absolute pinnacle, and I’ve had difficult things on and off the court that I’ve had to go through and move forward in my career and my life.’ So, maybe like, there’s some synergy there.”
While more of the talk about the 2010-11 MVP has been about mentoring a ‘showboating’ team, it is hard to ignore that his arrival has added depth to the guard rotation. Moreover, with Morant suspended for 25 games, the 2008-09 ROY will have opportunity and minutes to run the offense.
Despite career-altering injury scares casting a shadow over his NBA journey, Derrick Rose’s impact has been undeniable since joining the New York Knicks in the mid-2020-21 season. He played a pivotal role in guiding the franchise to the playoffs and even secured a commendable third-place finish in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, with impressive averages of 14.9 points and 4.2 assists in just 35 games.
Even if coach Taylor Jenkins doesn’t plan to start Rose in the first half of the 2023-24 season, he could prove to be a serviceable backup to Marcus Smart during Morant’s absence.
In an interview with Chris Vernon, the former Celtic opened up about sharing the NBA court with Rose in Memphis, where he’s considered a ‘hero’ due to his heroics with Memphis Tigers that year.
“To have a guy in Rose coming back to Memphis, who is very loved, we all know what he has done in his career – and what he’s done here when he was at Memphis University. Just the connectivity he has with this city,” Smart said. “That’s gonna be more important than anybody realizes.”
Since we are on the lines of collegiate basketball it is hard to not mention young Derrick’s heroics in Memphis. Rose was a highly touted prospect who was known for penetrating defenses, creating open looks for himself and his teammates, courtesy of his electrifying agility and speed.
Given the hype around the youngster, Rose stood tall to deliver. He had an immediate impact as a freshman, leading the Tigers to a 38-2 record, and an appearance in the NCAA Championship game. In the process, the athletic guard averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game during his time at Memphis, and was eventually selected with the first pick for the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft.