NBA Mock Draft Pick #2 - Ja Morant, Point Guard, Murray State
SBNation’s Memphis Grizzlies blog Grizzly Bear Blues explains the pick:
The Grizzlies considered all options at #2, especially R.J. Barrett of Duke. Barrett’s offensive skill set is tantalizing, and you could pretty easily see Barrett becoming a better pro long-term than Morant. But in Memphis, things are a bit different. It can’t be just about skill, where Barrett and Morant are comparable in terms of prospect tiers. It’s about fit...and Ja Morant is from Memphis. He just doesn’t know it yet.
From a no-star prospect to the #2 pick in the draft. From Murray State to the NBA stage. His story is very much a Memphis story, and Grizzlies fans and the city at large will be quick to embrace his outlook, personality, and work ethic. His strength as a facilitator will help make those around him better offensively right away in a similar way to the defensive prowess of Jaren Jackson Jr. on that end of the floor. The Grizzlies hadn’t been lucky in a long time, but the lottery changed things for them much faster than originally anticipated. As one point guard/big man era ends with Marc Gasol and probably soon Mike Conley gone from Memphis, another is about to begin.