clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Draft 2019: Ja Morant is ready to revitalize Memphis

How Morant fits with the Grizzlies

2019 NBA Draft Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Maestro. Please refer to Ja Morant as maestro.

Ja Morant is the creative and intelligent playmaking maestro the Memphis Grizzlies were hoping to find in their rebuild. Morant sees passes that are invisible to the naked eye of all other basketball plebs who dare share the court with him. He takes off and soars through the air like a 737 jet, and he’s as selfless and humble as a Monk living up in a mountain monastery.

Morant is the guy you build a franchise around. Which bodes well for a Memphis team that has fully committed to a rebuild. Luckily, Morant will join forces with Jaren Jackson Jr., the 4th overall pick in 2018 and First Team NBA All-Rookie. Jackson is an uber-athletic center with incredible talent along the perimeter and within the post. This is a duo that can run teams out of the building with exceptional pace and athleticism.

There was some debate as to whether or not Morant would be the starter for Memphis or would serve as Mike Conley’s backup while he learns the ropes of the NBA. However, this debate came to an end the day before the draft when the Memphis Grizzlies finally dealt the face of the franchise and point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz. The Grizzlies got a sizable haul in return including Grayson Allen who was the 21st pick in 2018, veterans Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder, and the 23rd pick in tonight’s draft.

Assuming Chandler Parsons regains his health, Morant will have multiple shooters to dish to on the wing along Allen and Korver. The sheer gravity of having these shooters just opens the floor even more for an extremely dangerous Morant.

The expectations are going to be high for Morant this season. His team is not vying for a playoff spot, so he has full autonomy to control the game. He will be a consensus preseason pick for NBA All-Rookie First Team and will compete for Rookie of the Year with first overall pick Zion Williamson.

The future is bright for Memphis. Morant has all the tools to carve out his spot among elite NBA point guards as he develops. His elite speed makes him a nightmare to stop in the open floor, similar to the speedy 2017 fifth overall pick De’Aaron Fox. He has the ideal partner in the front court to flourish as a playmaker, and some solid wings to help out with defense and shooting. Morant is ready to be the face of new era in Grizzlies basketball, one that has abandoned grit and grind for speed and skill.