The Memphis Grizzlies had a tough 2023-24 season that was filled with injury issues, but they got some good news on Monday when Derrick Rose confirmed that he would be returning to the team next season, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis News:

“Derrick Rose on his future with the Grizzlies next season: “Yes, I'm coming back.”‘

The 16-year vet was one of multiple Grizzlies players to deal with injuries last season. He averaged 8 points and 3.3 assists in his 24 games for Memphis.

Rose is still under contract with the Memphis Grizzles, who signed the three-time NBA All-Star to a two-year deal worth $6.55 million back in 2023. At his peak, there was barely anyone better on the court than Rose. His best days in the league will always be when he was with the Bulls. He played seven seasons with Chicago and during that time, he averaged 19.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the floor.

Can the Grizzlies be contenders?

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) and forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) react ons the bench during the game against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half at State Farm Arena
© Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

During exit interviews, Grizzlies star Ja Morant said that he believes the team can contend, also per Cole:

“Ja Morant: “I think we can (win a championship) next season. Honestly, God-willing. If everyone stays healthy.”‘

The Grizzlies have a solid core consisting of Morant, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr., but they need to put some more pieces around the trio. Though they were bitten by the injury bug and could likely achieve significantly more success just by nature of having their key players available, the team does need to shuffle the deck chairs a little bit.

Memphis GM Zach Kleinman shared his thoughts, also via Cole:

“Kleiman: “I envision we'll add at least a big.” He said it could be via trade, draft or free agency.'

Grizzlies need a center

With the Grizzlies reportedly preferring to play Jackson Jr. at power forward alongside a center, they'll need to find their next big man.

At the trade deadline this season, Memphis sent the injured Steven Adams to the Houston Rockets in a salary dump. They received injured Victor Oladipo and three second-round draft picks in return.

With the Grizzlies holding a valuable lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, it's not clear whether they will use it on a big man or look to acquire a center in free agency. Should they decide to draft their center of the future, they could still play Jackson Jr. spot minutes at center. Additionally, locking up a young center on a rookie-scale salary has to be very appealing to the team.

After a tough season in Memphis, the Grizzlies are looking to bounce back in a major way in a 2024-25 season that will still likely feature a loaded Western Conference. With Morant, Bane, and JJJ leading the way, the team is primed to make a big jump if they can find the right big to play alongside Jackson Jr.