Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Grizzlies Pair Gets ‘Most Likely’ End-of-Season Scenario

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and Derrick Rose

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Derrick Rose and forward Ziaire Williams are “most likely” out for the remainder of the 2023-24 season, per Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins.

The 35-year-old Rose, now in his 15th NBA season, is dealing with a right groin injury and lower back soreness. The 22-year-old Williams, now in his third season, has “a Grade 2 strain of hip flexor and lower back muscles.”

Derrick Rose, Ziaire Williams Get ‘Most Likely’ End-of-Season Scenarios

On March 5, the team announced Rose would be re-evaluated in three weeks and Williams in four.

On Friday, Jenkins provided those promised updates, saying “they’re doing well” (per Damichael Cole of Memphis Commercial Appeal).

“Most likely they’re not going to be coming back by the end of the season. We’re just kind of taking it day to day.”

Derrick Rose

Rose has played in 24 games this season, averaging 8.0 points and 3.3 assists per game. He got off to a rough start but, overall, his efficiency has been outstanding. Rose shot 46.1 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from 3, knocking down 58.3 percent of his pull-up 2s and 54.5 percent of his pull-up 3s. A former MVP, Rose was brought on both to help the Grizzlies through Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension and to be a mentor.

Upon signing with Memphis, Rose revealed his message to the young star:

“I’m not here to babysit… to follow you around… to cheerlead. I’m here to push you.”

Ziaire Williams

Williams was getting into a good rhythm himself before his injury. Experiencing common highs and lows early in his NBA career, Williams is averaging career-highs across the board. His best stretch came in February, as he averaged 12.8 points and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 45.3 percent from the field.

The 10th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Williams took some advantage of the Grizzlies’ injury-ravaged roster. However, his play wasn’t good enough to quell concerns about his potential. Williams ranks 23rd in his draft class in career points (1,131), 34th in career field goal percentage (42.6), 40th in career 3-point percentage (30.1), and 26th in career rebounds (388).

The Last Word of Derrick Rose, Ziaire Williams

Rose and Williams are both under contract for one more season.

For Rose, the 2024-25 campaign could be a retirement tour due to his age and injury history. His wrapping his career up with the Chicago Bulls is likely what all basketball fans want. After all, he became the youngest MVP in NBA history in 2011 after leading the Bulls to 62 wins. However, as a standout player for the Memphis Tigers before being drafted, the Grizzlies can also provide him a poetic sendoff.

To be clear though, there’s no word on when or if Rose is considering retiring.

For Williams, 2024-25 could be a make-or-break year. As previously mentioned, he’s underperformed relative to his draft position, entering the dreaded ‘bust’ territory. He’s still young enough to get it together. Nonetheless, the Grizzlies only have 15 roster spots and he’s barely playing well enough to keep his, let alone be in the rotation.

This may have been his best opportunity to prove himself though. Not only is forward Brandon Clarke set to return to the lineup, but rookie GG Jackson has been turning heads with his play since being in the rotation. So too has Vince Williams Jr., a second-round pick for Memphis in 2022.

Furthermore, the Grizzlies are projected to have a top-10 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. That selection could be Williams’ replacement if they don’t believe they’ve found that player already.


More Posts