Memphis Grizzlies Second-Round Pick Kennedy Chandler Signs Historic Contract
The Memphis Grizzlies and second-round pick Kennedy Chandler have agreed on a four-year, $7.1 million rookie contract. Chandler is guaranteed $4.94 million in this deal which is the highest guaranteed salary for a second-round pick in NBA history.
Memphis Grizzlies No. 38 pick Kennedy Chandler has agreed to a four-year, $7.1 million rookie deal, his agent Ryan Davis tells @TheAthletic @Stadium. The contract contains the largest guaranteed salary – $4.94M – for an American second-round pick.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 5, 2022
Chandler was drafted out of the University of Tennessee with the 38th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The 19-year-old point guard was a standout with the Volunteers averaging 13.9 points, 4.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game (which were all team-highs) for Tennessee and was instrumental in earning Tennessee a 2022 SEC Tournament title. Chandler was also a key part of the FIBA Under-19 USA Team that won the World Cup last year. He was originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs but was traded to the Grizzlies for a 2024 second-rounder and cash considerations.
Chandler was heavily sought after by the Grizzlies front office, with Memphis general manager Zach Kleiman saying, “Kennedy was very high on our board going into the night. Someone we felt very strongly about. Easily could have been a first-round pick of ours. So it was Kennedy being there and us aggressively trying to pursue and being able to bring [him] into the organization that caused us to really [go] out and add another person we think is going to be a real contributor and a significant part of this organization going forward.”
The Grizzlies add Chandler to a team that already has some of the best young talents in the league. The core consists of defensive phenom Jaren Jackson Jr., versatile wings Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane and 2022 NBA Most Improved Player Ja Morant. The Grizzlies were one of the best stories in the NBA Last year, winning 56 games (which tied a franchise record) and earning the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Grizzlies lost to the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors in six games in the Western Conference Semifinals.
In Chandler’s NBA Summer League debut, he scored eight points with four assists, four rebounds, four steals and three blocks in a win against the Philadelphia 76ers.
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