Memphis Grizzlies: Morant near-lock to become NBA All-Star starter after third round of returns revealed

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The third round of NBA All-Star fan votes have been released and Ja Morant is one step closer to becoming the first Memphis Grizzlies player to start in an All-Star game since Marc Gasol during the 2016-17 season.

Morant has now received 2,623,359 votes, which has him firmly in second place among guards in the Western Conference.

The third-year Murray State product trails only Golden State’s Stephen Curry (6,019,418) and Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan (4,121,034) for most fan votes among any guard in the NBA.

Morant has received a heavy push from Grizzlies fans, and even Justin Timberlake, to help one of the league’s most exciting players reach one the NBA’s biggest stages.

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant one step closer to being named All-Star starter

While Morant looks to be a heavy favorite now to become a starter, there are still a few hurdles to clear.

Fans can vote through Jan. 22. Morant’s closest foe to unseat him is Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who has 1,923,187 votes.

The next hurdles will be for Ja Morant will be to clear the player voting and media voting, which will likely take place soon after the fan voting ends. The fan vote accounts for 50% of a player’s vote total.

NBA players vote for their peers and those votes are counted as 25% of the vote total. Morant seems to have garnered the respect of his peers. Just look at recent comments from Draymond Green, who called the Memphis Grizzlies player a contender for league MVP this season.

Credentialed media members will vote as well and their vote accounts for 25% as well. So to recap: fan vote equals 50% of the vote, player votes equal 25% and the media’s vote equals 25%.

Once those are all factored together, we’ll have our starters. If the numbers hold and the players and media votes are reflective of the fans, the NBA All-Star starters would be:

Western Conference

Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, Andrew Wiggins, Nikola Jokic and LeBron James

Eastern Conference

DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid

We will find out if Ja Morant is an NBA All-Star starter Jan. 27, according to the NBA.

Hot. Draymond Green calls Ja Morant an All-Star, MVP candidate. light