Ja Morant meets with Pelicans, Grizzlies, Knicks, but still expected to land in Memphis
Consensus No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant has met with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Memphis Grizzlies and the New York Knicks —teams that hold the first three picks in the draft, respectively — but is still largely expected to land with the Grizzlies with the second pick of the upcoming NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
The Grizzlies are reportedly bullish on Morant, who could be their point guard of the future, assuming they find a way to trade current starter Mike Conley during the offseason.
The Murray State star became the first player in NCAA history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in a single season, finishing first in the nation in assists and sixth in scoring.
At 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, Morant has been often compared to Russell Westbrook, especially more so after becoming only the eighth player to ever record a triple-double in an NCAA Tournament game, putting up 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds against Marquette in the first round of competition.
Morant prospects as a solid shooter with uncanny vision, great defensive instincts, but has yet to develop an NBA body and the strength to go with it.
Other similar guards like Oklahoma’s Trae Young have eventually found their footing in the NBA, and there is no reason to think Morant wouldn’t either, considering how he carried the Racers to an NCAA bid during his two seasons at Murray State.
It’s yet to be known whether the Grizzlies would consider keeping Conley to mentor Morant, as the lack of playing time could ultimately slow his progress throughout the course of the season.