Adam Silver finally let the cat out of the bag. After building the tension for the better part of a month, the NBA announced that Ja Morant is suspended 25 games to start the 2023-24 NBA season.
Silver first hinted at the severity of Morant’s suspension during the NBA Draft Lottery way back on May 17th. Since then, sports talk shows have devoted hours to speculating just how hard Silver would drop the hammer. Many thought the suspension would be close to 40 games. Most Grizzlies fans probably breathed a sigh of relief when they saw Morant would “only” miss 25 games. Still, Morant’s suspension is the ninth-longest in NBA history. The Memphis star will be out until roughly mid-December, assuming he clears the hurdles Silver has laid out for him.
Thankfully for the Grizzlies, Morant will be available for the majority of the season. Yet this suspension will undoubtedly still affect the Grizzlies offseason plans and regular-season results. Read on for the four biggest consequences of Ja Morant’s suspension.
1) No All-NBA, MVP, or other awards for Ja Morant
This first one is simple: thanks to the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Ja Morant is not eligible for All-NBA recognition or any other major award – including MVP.
Morant earned second-team All-NBA honors in 2021-22. He seemed primed to repeat that feat this past season before his eight-game suspension for the first Instagram Live gun incident. By missing out on All-NBA, Morant missed out on a supermax contract – and $39 million.
Memphis is one of eight current NBA franchises that have never had a player win MVP. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. could perhaps contend someday, but Morant is certainly Memphis’ best shot at this point. It appears the Grizzlies will still be seeking that elusive first MVP trophy in 2024-25.