The Memphis Grizzlies landed the second pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft and they would love to select Murray State sophomore point guard Ja Morant.
The New Orleans Pelicans had only a 6 percent chance to win the NBA draft lottery. They were the lucky winners in the Zion Williamson Sweepstakes.
The Grizzlies jumped up several spots by securing the second pick. They already made it public that Ja Morant is their guy if the Pelicans pick Zion.
The Griz picked point guard Mike Conley with the fourth overall pick back in 2007. In 12 seasons, Conley averaged 14.9 points and 5.7 assists per game. This past season, Conley posted a career high 21.1 points per game. Conley has a couple of seasons left on his contract, but would be the perfect mentor for Morant.
Morant the Man
At Murray State, the 6-foot-3 Morant averaged 24.5 points, 10.0 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game in his sophomore season. His passing skills are what really stood out the most.
Morant led the Racers to an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title. Morant won the OVC tourney with a 36-point performance over rival Belmont (with legendary coach Rick Byrd) in the championship game. He also hit a game-winner in the OVC semifinals over Jacksonville State.
Morant elevated his draft stock with a triple double in an opening-round March Madness game. Morant dropped 17 points with 16 assists and 11 rebounds in a win against Marquette. In his final game with Murray State, he scored 28 points during a blowout loss to FSU in the Round of 32.
Memphis Draft History
Aside from last year’s draft with Jaren Jackson Jr., the Memphis Grizzlies do not have a great history with first round picks in the last few seasons with three consecutive busts between 2014-16.
At the 2016 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies drafted point guard Wade Baldwin out of Vanderbilt. Baldwin was a bust and they traded him to the Cleveland Cavs.
In 2015, the Griz drafted Jarell Martin late in the first round. They were high on the power forward from LSU. He played three seasons with the Grizzlies and started in only 39 games. In his best season, he averaged only 7.7 points per game. They traded him to the Orlando Magic last year.
In 2014, the Griz picked Jordan Adams. The shooting guard from UCLA washed out of the league after two uneventful seasons in Memphis where he averaged 3 points per game.
At the 2018 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies had the fourth overall pick. They made a wise choice that time and selected Jaren Jackson Jr., a 6-foot-11 center out of Michigan State. Jacksons started 56 games with the Grizzlies and averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.