MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - JaMychal Green is back with the Memphis Grizzlies, and it's all smiles at Grizzlies training camp.
After waiting on a new deal all summer long as a restricted free agent, Green finally got a two-year $17 million plus incentives offer from the Grizzlies on Wednesday.
"I always wanted to stay here," Green said. "It's a lot convenient for me. I love Memphis. Just the city, the fans and Coach Fiz. I always just wanted to stay here and play with him."
Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale could not be happier to get Green back, a player he sees as one of the key pieces of the Grizzlies.
"I kept hugging him today," Fizdale said with a big grin on his face. "I think he got tired of getting big old hugs from me, but he's really the missing link to how I want to play. From a speed standpoint and from a versatility standpoint. He is the guy that actually makes all that go."
"He can stretch the ball, he can shoot it, he can defend multiple positions and guard some of the best players in the league," Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley said. "That's somebody you really can't replace."
Even with so much praise coming his way, Green says he'll play with a chip on his shoulder this year.
Despite starting as the Grizzlies power forward in 77 games last season, while averaging 8.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, Green's deal took months to complete.
"My situation didn't play out the way I wanted," Green said. "I definitely ended up satisfied with where I ended, but I just want to come out there and prove that I belong and that I'm worth whatever I think I'm worth."
That's not to say Green isn't grateful for his new deal.
Three years ago, Green was making $800 a week in the NBA D-League with the Austin Spurs, and originally signed with the Grizzlies in 2015 on a 10-day contract.
Green made the most out of that opportunity.
"I just dropped down on my knees and I prayed," Green said. "I was just very thankful. I came from nothing. It's a long journey for me to get to where I am. To have 8.5 (million) in my pockets. I'm just blessed."
"How many kids come from where J Myke's from that have a $17 million contract," Fizdale said. "He just solidified his daughter's future, and he's going to be 29 when this contract's up."