Derrick Rose signs with surprising team in free agency to erase Knicks return

After two separate stints with the New York Knicks, Derrick Rose’s time in the city has officially come to an end. The Knicks declined his $15.6 million team option for 2023-24, but it was rumored that he could return to the team on a lesser contract. That option is now out of the window.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported (subscription required) that the Bucks, Suns, and Bulls were three teams that could sign Rose in free agency. However, another team swooped in and signed the 34-year-old to a fully guaranteed deal.

SNY’s Ian Begley was the first to report that Rose was signing a multi-year deal with the Grizzlies, and Shams Charania reported the details. The veteran guard is inking his name to a two-year, $6.5 million deal with Memphis.

Grizzlies sign former Knicks PG Derrick Rose in free agency to back up Ja Morant

Derrick Rose will have an opportunity to be a contributor for the Grizzlies right off the bat as Ja Morant is suspended for the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season. Memphis traded Morant’s previous backup Tyus Jones to Washington as part of the deal that landed Marcus Smart in Tennessee. The Grizzlies are prioritizing adding veteran voices to a locker room that desperately needs it.

Rose played in only 27 games for New York in 2022-23 after ironically entering the season fully healthy. He was eliminated from Tom Thibodeau’s rotation and winded up playing in only one more game than he did in 2021-22 when he spent the majority of the season injured. He was a key part of New York’s push to the playoffs in 2021.

Although a return to Chicago didn’t happen for Rose, he’ll get to return to the city where he spent his lone college season in. Memphis is already very familiar with Derrick Rose’s game, and 15 years after he was selected No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, the veteran point guard is back.