NBA Draft 2019: Mock Draft 3.0

Zion Williamson RJ Barrett Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Prospects (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Zion Williamson RJ Barrett Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Prospects (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Ja Morant
Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft prospect Ja Morant (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images) /

2. 211. Murray State. Ja Morant. Guard. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

Hope you are sitting down…The Memphis Grizzlies are taking Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick.

If you are reading this, it is probably safe to assume that you are familiar with Ja Morant, have heard the Russell Westbrook comparisons, and are also aware that the Grizzlies have had Mike Conley (very publicly) on the trade block since January. So aside from the facts that Ja is universally regarded as the second-best prospect in this class and the franchise is desperately in need of a point guard of the future, here are five reasons he makes sense for the Grizzlies.

First, as jaw-dropping as the SportsCenter dunks are, the most impressive thing about Ja Morant’s game is his passing ability. In addition to scoring 24.5 points and pulling down just under six boards a game, he also averaged 10 assists as a sophomore last season — making him the first college player since 1987-88 to average double-digit assists for an entire season.

Related Story. NBA Draft: 3 Factors Leading to Ja Morant Jump-Starting Memphis Grizzlies' Rebuild. light

Secondly, Morant is from a town with a population of about 2,500 people (Dalzell, South Carolina) and chose to play at Murray State, largely because they were the first school you have heard of that offered him a scholarship. South Carolina offered him later, but he spurned the SEC for the Ohio Valley Conference out of loyalty. Translation: Ja is not the kind of guy who is going to leave Memphis when his rookie deal is up because he wants to play live in Los Angeles or play home games at Madison Square Garden.

Third, free-throws are important — not just shooting them at a high percentage, but getting to the line. Ja Morant not only shot over 80 percent, but he was fourth in the NCAA in free-throw attempts last season, averaging 8.2 per game.

Fourth, Ja Morant was not just putting up stats against OVC competition in college. On the road against Auburn (a Final Four team) and Alabama, he averaged 31.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists.

Lastly, five words: Ja-Jaren pick and roll.

Get ready, Memphis.