NBA Draft 2019: The Memphis Grizzlies Set To Pair Ja Morant With Jaren Jackson Jr.

Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Prospect (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Prospect (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The NBA Draft Lottery was very favorable to the Memphis Grizzlies. They now have a chance to pair Ja Morant with Jaren Jackson Jr.

Before Tuesday night the Memphis Grizzlies were set to enter the offseason with a lot of uncertainty, but after last night they should have a plan in place. They should select Ja Morant with the 2nd pick in the NBA Draft to pair with Jaren Jackson Jr.

There are other options to consider such as Jarrett Culver and R.J. Barrett, but Morant will be the pick. He might not fit alongside Mike Conley, but they will likely try and trade him this offseason so he shouldn’t affect their decision in the draft.

They should look to trade Conley for a pick later on in the draft potentially with the Indiana Pacers at 18 or the Utah Jazz at 23. There are a couple of candidates they could consider at those spots such as Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson. Multiple teams with higher picks should be interested in Conley such as the Los Angeles Lakers at four, but they will likely use that deal in their pursuit of Anthony Davis.

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Whether they find a trade partner for Conley prior to the NBA Draft or not, Ja Morant should be the pick. R.J. Barrett and Jarrett Culver could both become very good players, but the Grizzlies need their next dominant point guard to lead the franchise. Memphis should take an in-depth look at all three of these players, but if they decide Morant is the best prospect, he has to be the pick.

Ja Morant had an absolutely dominant sophomore season at Murray State. His freshman season he wasn’t the main player, but he was able to learn and develop which helped him become a breakout star this past season. He wasn’t even ranked as a recruit coming out of high school, but that hasn’t stopped him at all.

Some people will use that against him, but players getting ranked in high school is more about exposure, rather than the actual talent they have. All it took was one Murray State coach to give him a chance and now he is in a position to be a top three pick at the absolute worst.

He played in 33 games this past season in college as he helped get the Murray State Racers back to the NCAA Tournament where they did get a win over Marquette. He averaged 24.5 points, 10 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game on 50% shooting including 36% from three-point range.

His style of play should translate well to the NBA as he’s a player who can impact the game in so many ways. His defense can continue to improve at the next level, but with the way he can take over the game on the offensive end is unreal.

He is an elite passer who will be one of the best passers in the NBA the moment he is drafted. He can drive to the bucket and drop dimes to his teammates to get open looks. His ability to get to the basket and finish is also elite and when you add in these two skills it makes perfect sense as to why he would be receiving Russell Westbrook comparisons.

They both struggle to shoot the ball some, but Westbrook has had some good shooting seasons early on in his career. Morant isn’t an elite shooter by any means, but him being able to hit 36% at the college level should translate to him being good enough from deep in the pros.

While drafting Morant seems like it will happen the Grizzlies do already have one of their cornerstones set in their star forward Jaren Jackson Jr. He had a dominant rookie season and the future is very bright for him as some feel he has a chance to become a perennial all-star in this league.

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His ability to impact the game in so many ways on both ends of the floor gives the Grizzlies somebody they can rely on. Memphis needs to add another young star to go with him and Ja Morant should be that guy. These two have a chance to become a star duo for years to come and they should help the Grizzlies get back into the playoff conversation.