The Memphis Grizzlies have been as good as any team in the last decade at building through the draft in their recent rebuild, as they went from the veteran-heavy Grit N’ Grind era to a young, burgeoning contender that earned the West’s 2-seed a year ago by nailing pick after pick.
Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. are the most notable of those, and both have been rewarded with big extensions recently, but their depth is a major reason for their success and that has been built by hitting on picks outside of the lottery as well. Among those is Brandon Clarke, as the 21st pick in the 2019 Draft out of Gonzaga has become a key bench contributor to the frontcourt rotation, and on Sunday he got rewarded with a handsome contract extension.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke has agreed on a four-year, $52 million contract extension, his agents Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman of @PrioritySports tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/9MsE6EVip9
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 16, 2022
At $13 million per year, Clarke will now be well compensated as the backup power forward in Memphis — one who figures to see a minutes increase at the start of this season while Jaren Jackson Jr. recovers from surgery for a foot injury. Clarke has averaged 10.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in his three seasons in Memphis, and provides additional help-side rim protection on the other end with his tremendous athleticism, averaging 1.1 blocks per game a year ago.
For the Grizzlies, it’s clear they believe in this core group and have spent the past couple summers locking those players into longterm deals, with Clarke the latest to get rewarded.