Draft Profile: Ja Morant

Ja Morant is quite possibly the undisputed 2nd pick in this upcoming  2019 NBA draft and he will most likely be headed to Memphis to join the rebuilding Grizzlies.

Ja Morant, Murray State

6’3, 175 lb

Sophomore Stats: 24.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 10.0 APG/ 49% FG, 36% 3P

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I see multiple comparisons to Russell Westbrook and while there are multiple similarities I believe Morant is a better prospect than Westbrook was in college. Coming into this year there was a lot of talk all of a sudden of Ja Morant and once I started watching his game I could not believe his IQ. Morant has a great feel for defenses and he did a great job at tearing up every scheme he faced. The most explosive guard in the draft I have ever seen and he is lightning quick. Ja has a tight dribble and keeps the ball on a string which is what elevates his game to the next level. With the combination of explosiveness and his handles, Ja becomes an instant threat you need to keep in front of you and must always have a man waiting for him at the rim. He is a great finisher at the rim and can get you an acrobatic layup or just punish the defender for trying to jump with him. While not being one of the better shooters in this draft do not be discouraged because his form needs a bit of retouching for better results. He can create his own shot whether it is in an ISO situation or off the dribble he can score on his opponent. This leaves Ja as the best rebounding guard in the upcoming draft, he chases rebounds with a sense of urgency and provides many offensive rebounds with second-chance points. His most special talent is his passing ability.  Hitting shooters in stride so they just have to land and set their feet for the shot. Being able to get the ball exactly in the spots teammates like to be in and just where they like to catch the ball. Ja was basically Murray State as he carried the team and often times was getting doubled and made it easy for him to get his teammates involved. While not being a complete defensive liability I do believe there is a lot of work he can put into his defensive game. With his speed, Ja can sometimes be quicker than his opponents and can be a real threat in passing lanes which then turn into the fast break and that is there best game. This all helps his game as he describes himself as being a point-god.

I can see a smooth transition into the league for Ja and the Grizzlies will have a great piece to build around. He has shown he can be the leader of the team and even got a triple-double against Marquette. His ability to work in the half court and run a quick or slow offense. Ja has also been the biggest threat in transition in the entire draft as he can accelerate down the court and use his explosiveness to get to the hole.

 

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