Grizzlies guard ‘might find himself playing more’ than many expect

This summer, the Memphis Grizzlies seemed to emphasize adding veteran mentors and leaders to their rotation to try and help keep their youth-filled roster in check moving forward.

With the likes of Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose coming aboard, many are under the impression that their presence alone could rub off in a positive way on somewhat troubled franchise centerpiece, Ja Morant.

However, though the current expectation is that, of the aforementioned additions, Smart will be the lone veteran logging consistent minutes within Taylor Jenkins’ rotation, Kelly Iko of The Athletic recently noted that he believes D-Rose could actually wind up having a bigger on-court role with the team than many anticipate.

Derrick Rose could ‘find himself playing more’ for the Grizzlies than many expect

Citing their lackluster depth at the point guard position, especially without Morant to start the year, Iko is under the impression that his signing with the Grizzlies is more than just a “feel-good story” for the former Memphis Tiger returning to his old collegiate stomping grounds.

“The Grizzlies are pretty thin at point guard, and Jacob Gilyard (two-way contract) still needs some polishing. The same could be said for Josh Christopher who arrived from Houston via trade. Kennard and Bane can function as playmakers when needed, but Rose might find himself playing more than he previously anticipated,” Iko wrote.

Though no longer the perennial All-Star and league MVP he once was during his prime, Rose has still shown flashes of being a quality contributor within a rotation over the last several seasons.

Since 2021-22, per 100 possessions, the point guard has managed to post impressive averages of 23.7 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from distance and, just three years ago, he finished third in the running for Sixth Man of the Year, where he dropped 14.7 points, 4.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steals a night on 47.0 percent shooting from the floor and 38.8 percent from deep.

Now, is Rose someone the Grizzlies should rely on for extensive playing time throughout a full 82-game regular season slate as well as an extensive postseason run? At his age coupled with his injury history, the answer is a resounding no.

Still, seeing him log anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes on average, especially during Morant’s 25-game suspension, shouldn’t be considered a wild scenario either. In fact, Iko seems to suggest that it could wind up becoming an actual reality during his return season in Memphis.