By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Memphis Grizzlies have the new face of their franchise. The Grizzlies drafted Ja Morant with the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Morant was drafted on Thursday night at the Barclays Center. He’ll replace Mike Conley Jr., who will officially be traded in July.
Conley Jr. is on the move to the Utah Jazz once that deal is complete. In the proposed deal, the Grizzlies will acquire Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen, the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a future first-round draft selection.
Korver may retire or ask to be released as he does not want to relocate his family once again. He was traded in-season from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Jazz.
Morant will take the place of Conley Jr., who spent more than a decade with the Grizzlies. His name was being brought up in trade rumors before the February trade deadline, but the team eventually held onto him despite trading Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors.
The Dalzell, South Carolina native spent the last two seasons as a member of the Murray State Racers in the Ohio Valley Conference. This past season; however, he developed into a star.
Morant made 33 appearances, including 33 starts. He averaged 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 36.6 minutes per game.
He is expected to be the team’s starting point guard. Avery Bradley is expected to be his backcourt mate.
The front court is expected to include Kyle Anderson starting at small forward and Brandon Clarke at power forward. Jaren Jackson Jr., the team’s 2018 first-round draft selection, is expected to be the team’s starting center.