2. Jalen Brunson
During his first full season serving as a team’s primary point guard, Jalen Brunson went on to have quite an incredible turnout both from a statistical and overall impact standpoint.
Through 68 games played with the Knicks, the freshly minted $104 million man went on to post career-best averages of 24.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds on 49.1 percent shooting from the field and 41.6 percent shooting from distance.
He would also help guide New York to 10 more wins than they collected the season prior and to their first postseason series win in a decade along the way.
Now coming into year two in the Big Apple, all eyes are on him to once again have as good of, if not an even better season than the one he had in 2022-23 and the consensus feeling is that he can accomplish such a feat.
And yet, even with all his triumphs and accomplishments being taken into account, it still feels as though his placement ahead of the Grizzlies star is largely a result of him exceeding expectations during his first season with the Knicks rather than what he can do as an overall player.
Brunson is the superior player when it comes to scoring from beyond the arc (career 38.6 percent shooter compared to 32.1), but in virtually every other area Morant either matches or surpasses the 27-year-old.
From set-up skills (Morant has a career 35.9 assists percentage to Brunson’s 24.9) and scoring prowess (career 33.1 points average compared to 26.4 per 100 possessions) to sheer athleticism, with zero intent to disrespect or throw shade, the Memphis stud is simply the better player of the two.
How ESPN believes otherwise is truly astonishing.