After finally agreeing to a face-to-face meeting, R.J. Barrett has met with the Memphis Grizzlies. This will make things interesting at the NBA Draft.
The Memphis Grizzlies finally showed some progress toward a final decision with their No. 2 overall NBA Draft selection over the weekend when they hosted Ja Morant for a face-to-face meeting. Interestingly enough, R.J. Barrett has now done the same, even after he initially did not want anything to do with the Grizzlies.
Barrett has not attempted to cover his desire to play for a large-market NBA team as he has made it known that he wants to fall to No. 3 (New York Knicks) or No. 4 (Los Angeles Lakers), and has even declined an invitation to work out for the Memphis Grizzlies in an effot to make his own dreams come true.
That storyline has not been a concern for the Memphis Grizzlies because they have had their eyes on their guy ever since the sports world found out that the Grizz would be picking second in the June 20th NBA Draft. Ja Morant has received their full focus. Well, until Sunday, June 9th arrived.
According to The New York Post, R.J. Barrett had a private meeting with the Grizzlies, much like the treatment in which Ja Morant just received. While it may not mean a whole lot at this point, it should be surprising to see Barrett open his mind and actually meet face-to-face with Memphis.
Does this series of events mean the Grizzlies are wavering on Ja Morant, even in the slightest? Or is it more to confirm that they will select the better all-around prospect in Morant over the likes of R.J. Barrett?
On Monday, immediately after his quick pit stop to talk with the Memphis Grizzlies, R.J. Barrett visited the New York Knicks. He is already treating it like he is Knickerbocker property. Take a look for yourself:
To answer the previous question, it should not be doubted that the Memphis Grizzlies still favor Murray State’s Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick. In today’s media session, R.J. Barrett displayed full confidence that he will be landing in New York, almost as if there is a 0% chance he is selected second overall. “This is the place I want to be,” he said. At the very least, he is being 100% honest while in the public eye.
While there are legitimate fears that the Grizzlies were concerned about Morant’s minor knee procedure, it now appears as if those feelings were incorrectly manufactured. Assuming Memphis remains on the path to Ja Morant, it would not at all be surprising to see intensified trade rumors in the coming days surrounding veteran point guard Mike Conley.
As the one-week countdown to the 2019 NBA Draft is fast approaching, the duel between Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett at the second and third selection spots is something that will continue to demand plenty of attention in the NBA world. These two prospects may forever be connected, and if so, this is only the beginning.