NBA Draft: Memphis Grizzlies Embark Upon Future in Private Meeting with Ja Morant

With less than two weeks until the 2019 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies have connected with Ja Morant, who should be their point guard of the future.

It is looking more and more like the Memphis Grizzlies do in fact know who they will select with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. It should be Ja Morant, assuming the New Orleans Pelicans stay the course and take Zion Williamson with the first pick.

On Sunday, 11 days before NBA Draft Night, The Athletic‘s Shams Charania says the Grizzlies met face-to-face with Morant, who has been Memphis’ priority ever since they landed the No. 2 pick on May 14th.

A slight scare was jolted into Grizz Nation last week when news surfaced that Ja Morant would have to miss a few weeks of basketball activity due to a minor procedure on his right knee. However, that has not enabled the Memphis Grizzlies to reroute their NBA Draft plans with the second overall pick.

Sunday’s meetings served as a feeling-out process for both parties. Morant could be the Grizzlies’ starting point guard from Day One, assuming 12-year veteran Mike Conley is dealt sometime between the June 20th NBA Draft and the official start of the 2019-20 regular season. Memphis likely shared the latest news on the Conley trade front with Morant so that the Murray State product knows what his potential job will entail.

Additionally, Ja Morant will be able to get an early feel for a city in which he would call home for at least the next several years. Going from a mid-major school to becoming one of the most popular young faces of the NBA will certainly be a major adjustment, so easing into the new lifestyle should be welcomed by the 6’3″ floor general.

Above all else, this was a time for the Memphis Grizzlies to confirm that Ja Morant is in fact the best player available at No. 2, rather than selecting R.J. Barrett — who has recently declined a workout request from the Grizzlies — or another high-ranking prospect, such as point guard Darius Garland or shooting guard Jarrett Culver. All signs are pointing to Ja staying put at the second spot.

It would take something significant for the Memphis Grizzlies to change their stance on Ja Morant, and Sunday’s meetings should be considered something of positive progress rather than something of the alternative. Though it is unfortunate he cannot do some on-court work for the Grizzlies, the best news is that it is not a serious and/or long-term ailment that he is currently dealing with.