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Ja Morant favored over R.J. Barrett to be the 2nd overall pick

R.J. Barrett, Ja Morant

Ja Morant is picking up steam as the likeliest No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

On Wednesday, online sportsbook BetOnline.ag released odds for who the Memphis Grizzlies will select with the second overall pick in the draft. Morant comes in as an overwhelming favorite at -200, followed by the other consensus top-three prospect who isn’t Zion Williamson, Duke teammate R.J. Barrett at +150. Williamson, a shoo-in to go first overall, is next at +1000, while Jarrett Culver and DeAndre Hunter round at the lines at +1200 and +1400, respectively.

It comes as no surprise that Morant has quickly emerged as the favorite to be selected by the Grizzlies following Tuesday night’s shocking draft lottery. The possibility that he could be off the board immediately after Williamson gained major traction in the NCAA Tournament, when the Murray State star put on a show of playmaking flair, explosive athleticism, and improving shot-making en route to a 17-point, 11-rebound, 16-assist triple-double in his team’s upset of Marquette. Morant wasn’t quite as efficient against Florida State one round later, but still put up 28 points, five rebounds, and four assists against a team with several NBA-caliber defenders.

Taking Morant makes even more sense for the Grizzlies considering the crossroads they’ve reached with franchise favorite Mike Conley. With a blue-chip point guard prospect there for the taking, Memphis will hopefully be enticed to trade Conley either before the 2019-20 season or at the trade deadline, righting a wrong by hanging onto him after trading Marc Gasol in February.

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