The 2019 NBA Draft features a number of high-profile and talented players, but among the most exciting is Murray State guard Ja Morant. It’s widely expected that the Memphis Grizzlies will select Morant with the No. 2 pick in the draft, especially after they traded Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz just one day prior. Assuming Morant is selected second overall, we also know how his rookie contract will look, along with the structure of it.
As RealGM revealed, the first-year salary for the No. 2 pick on the NBA rookie scale will pay Morant a salary of $7,265,800. His year two pay then bumps to $7,629,200, and his contract will technically be a two-year, $14.895 million deal.
With that said, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Morant’s rookie contract will extend over four years, as the Grizzlies would then have team options for the third and fourth seasons. The third-year option salary for the point guard would be $7,992,500, per RealGM, with the fourth-year option jumping 26.2 percent from year No. 3. In turn, this means Morant’s salary would jump just over $2.094 million in 2022-23.
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Ja Morant’s Future Contract Outlook & Extension Details
Here’s a full breakdown of the contract and salary details for Morant, including the estimated numbers for player options and an increase in salary for the final two years. The qualifying offer for the 2023-24 season is based off an increase in salary of 30.5 percent from the fourth year.
|2021-22||$7,992,500 (Team Option)|
|2022-23||$10,086,535 (Team Option)|
|2023-24||$13,162,928 (Qualifying Offer)|
The terms of the rookie pay scale in the NBA are detailed by CBAFAQ.com and explain a number of different aspects which relate to how contracts for first-year players work. Specifically, it’s worth noting that Morant will be eligible to earn a contract extension in the fourth season, and it would then begin in year five.
A player’s actual salary in any year may be as little as 80% or as much as 120% of the scale amount. The third and fourth seasons of rookie “scale” contracts are at the team’s option…If the option for the fourth year is exercised, the team may make the player a restricted free agent by submitting a qualifying offer.
Realistically, there’s a decent chance that Morant would earn a contract extension offer in his fourth year, as many teams opt to avoid risking heading into the final year of a deal with a top player. If that were to happen, it could leave the chance for him to leave town in free agency on the table.