Grizzlies: Fans host heated debate involving Ja Morant and Trae Young

Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

2024 marked the first time in four seasons that both the Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks missed out on the NBA Playoffs.

Because of this, it appears both fanbases are now looking to fill their time by debating who the superior player is between each of the team's respective stars, Trae Young and Ja Morant.

Zach Langley, host of Instagram's "Hawks Scoop," recently decided to stir the pot on X (previously known as Twitter) when making the highly polarizing claim that Young is "absolutely" better than Morant, citing the fact that he's a "better scorer, passer, three point shooter, more durable, equal (arguably better) defender" and that he's gone further in the postseason.

Frankly, all of these points outside of durability, long-range shooting, and the playoff bit (though, this last one is heavily influenced by team play rather than individual performances) are highly debatable and, unsurprisingly, Grizzlies fans came in droves to defend their franchise point guard.

Grizzlies fans come to the defense of Ja Morant in Trae Young debate

One user would hop into the conversation by making the claim that not only is Young the inferior point guard compared to Morant, but he's not even on the same level as his own backcourt cohort, Dejounte Murray.

Another fan would point out the head-to-head successes for both of these All-Stars, noting that, at the end of the day, it's been Ja who has had the upper hand as he boasts a commanding 5-2 record against Young.

One X user would also correctly come after the point made by Langley that Young's successes in the playoffs are an indicator that he's better than the Grizzlies star.

Said user would point out that, though the Hawks guard may have a Conference Finals on his resume, for the better part of the past 20 years and especially during the league tenures of both stars, the west has been far and away the more competitive conference, thus suggesting the level of competition that Morant has faced during his five-year career has been far greater.

During Atlanta's ECF run back in 2021, they went on to beat both the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers in the first two rounds. What's worth mentioning is that the former had won just one playoff series since the 2000-01 season at that time and had missed the postseason altogether for seven straight years coming in while the latter has not made it out of the second round since 2001.

On the other hand, the last two playoff exits the Grizzlies endured came against both the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, two teams who have won championships over the past five seasons (with the Dubs winning the season they took out Memphis in round two), and who advanced to the conference finals during each respective season.

Outside of these advancements, both Atlanta and Memphis have seen the same amount of first-round exits during both Ja and Trae's careers in the association.

The debate truly gets a bit more challenging once taking a gander at each of their statistics, but, then again, even when looking at the numbers one's opinion on the matter is still highly subjective.

Sure, Young may be the better long-range shooter (career 35.5 percent clip compared to 31.8) and has a higher assists-per-game rate (9.5 compared to 7.4) but neither truly indicate he's a better scorer or, frankly, facilitator.

In fact, Morant is the superior player when it comes to effective field goal percentage (50.9 to 50.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2 to 2.3), and, from a flashier perspective, has more accolades and standings in rewards races than the Hawks star does (ROY, MIP, seventh-place finish in MVP race, etc.).

On top of all this, comparing each of their best seasons to date, it is the Grizzlies guard who has logged the better box plus-minus (6.1 compared to 5.2), a direct measurement to evaluate a player's quality and overall contributions to their team.

Frankly, to come to a definitive answer regarding who is "better" between Trae Young and Ja Morant is something that requires a highly subjective approach. Both are superior than the other in particular aspects of the game and, simply put, are just completely different players.

To say one is "absolutely" the greater player is quite an egregious and rather closed-minded thing to do.