The 2022 NBA regular season is coming in for a landing. Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets are in 8th place in the Eastern Conference and they have just 10 games remaining on the schedule. The next match vs. the Memphis Grizzlies features one of the NBA's most electric rising stars in Ja Morant. And apparently, KD is already a very big fan.

It wasn't but a few days ago when Kevin Durant revealed his top three MVP candidates and who he thinks deserves the award. 

That's when we learned where Ja ranks for Easy Money Sniper. But following Durant's 37 point, 8 assists, and 9 rebound demoralization of the Utah Jazz, the two-time Finals MVP looked ahead to the next game.

“[Jo Morant is] a combination of players, I feel,” Durant said. “I think the greatest players in our game can transform into anybody at any given point. And I think Ja is on the way to that. I mean I see, like, when he's playing I see like two, or three, four different Hall of Famers in his game.”

High praise indeed. Morant is averaging 27.6 points per game, 6.7 dimes, 5.7 boards, and shooting 34 percent from distance. The 2020 Rookie of the Year and first time 2022 All-Star is a shoe-in for Most Improved Player, and he'll likely get some votes for league MVP also. It's a bonus he does all of that with highlights like these:

“From [Allen] Iverson, to he might make a [Michael] Jordan-like layup, or he might run down the court like a [Russel] Westbrook or a D-Rose [Derrick Rose], his float game is up there with some of the best that's ever play- you know, so he's just a,- I don't want to gas him up too much since we playing against him but I think the sky is the limit for him, his future is obviously bright and he makes everybody better playing against him, even opponents. So it's about that level you approach that game with and I'm looking forward to it.”

These are lofty but not at all bad comps for Ja as a scorer. We see plenty of early career Derrick Rose in his game. He probably could have found another comp for his often mesmerizing court-vision and passes too.

It was pretty funny that Durant cut himself short since he didn't want to give Ja a big head before their big game. But then he couldn't help dole out a bit more praise. Durant was asked if he's surprised the Grizzlies have been so successful. At 40-23 they have the second best record in the entire league. Recall, once upon a time it was Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder who basically went from worst to first, a perennial lottery team that was suddenly ready to take the leap and made the NBA finals in 2012 led by their sensational young trio of Durant, Westbrook and James Harden.

“Nah, Nah I'm not [surprised],” Nets star Kevin Durant said, “when you look at the collection of guys they have all hard nose guys with chips on their shoulders and they're well-coached then you got a future Hall-Of-Famer at the head of the snake, you know he just makes everybody better.”

Wow. So the Nets star isn't shy to offer a bold take here. At first we weren't sure if he was simply saying there are flashes of Iverson or MJ, his former teammate Russ, or D-Rose. But then he makes crystal clear he actually believes Ja has the Hall of Fame in his future. Durant admitted in the same post-game interview that he loves to talk trash and it's all part of the game. Is this some reverse Jedi mind trick to hype Ja up too much? Probably not, KD really did sound genuine. And we already knew he has Ja in his top three for MVP:

But he's making an exception here to heap on the positivity for the incredible Ja Morant. Joel Embiid is a player KD loves to praise off the court but talks all kinds of trash with on the court. We'll be keeping a close watch to see Slim Reaper he has any smack talk for the rising star out of Dalzell, South Carolina.

Flashes of Iverson cross overs, MJ finishes, Westbrook transition game and some D-Rose floaters? Yes please. Oh, and the game is in Memphis so Kyrie Irving might have something to say about the whole future Hall of Famer, human highlight reel thing as well. Popcorn up for this one Nets Nation.