Kennedy Chandler Signs Record Rookie Contract

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    The Memphis Grizzlies were the perfect landing spot for former Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler. Chandler grew up in Memphis and is friends with Grizzlies’ star point guard Ja Morant.

    The downside was where Memphis selected Chandler. The Second Team All-SEC selection fell early into the second round of last month’s NBA Draft, meaning he wasn’t owed any guaranteed money and would have to carve out a larger contract with his play on the court.

    Those concerns were mitigated Tuesday when Memphis signed Chandler to a four-year, $7.1 million contract, Stadium’s Shams Charania first reported. The four-year deal included $4.94 million guaranteed— the most by a second round draft pick in NBA history.

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    While the $7.1 million ceiling isn’t as high as late first rounders, Chandler’s $4.94 million guaranteed is more than the last six first round selections.

    Chandler made his NBA Summer League debut on Tuesday night, recording eight points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks in a Grizzlies’ win.

    The SEC Tournament MVP shot four-of-eight from the field in 23 minutes of action. Chandler led the SEC in steals as a freshman and his prowess was on display in his first professional game, including a game sealing steal on fellow former Vol Jaden Springer.

    The late game turnover was a disappointing end to a strong performance from Springer. Springer started his second professional season with a 15 point and three rebound performance.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.