When the NBA Draft takes place this coming June Ja Morant’s name should be called first as the number one pick in this year’s draft. Morant just finished an impressive sophomore campaign averaging 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 10 assists a game which led the nation. He won the Bob Cousy award, which recognizes college basketball’s best point guard. He also was named a consensus first team All-American, and the Ohio Valley Player of the Year.
He was equally impressive in the NCAA Tournament recorded a triple double in a win or Marquette. After that performance he was seen as the number two prospect on most Mock drafts behind Zion Williamson. The title states that he should be the number pick, and that is correct Morant is the best player in this year’s draft. No I haven’t been drinking and no I am not on drugs. Zion with his eye popping athleticism, size, and overall power maybe the most exciting unique talent we have seen since LeBron James.
Ja Morant is severely skilled and athletic in his own right. Possessing 40 inch vertical Morant has no shortage of highlight dunks himself that have set social media and internet sites on fire. In era of point guard play and teams running high pick n roll it is a no brainier that Ja should be on the draft board ahead of Zion.
People are always comparing a prospect to another player. Morant’s comp is a combination of two players. His passing and playing-making ability reminds me of Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul. Morant just like Paul possesses an incredible I.Q. He is able to read defenses at a high level, make pinpoint passes, and even passing a teammate open at times. He can make every type of pass including the left hand off the dribble pass which is his weaker hand, and is able to routinely deliver these passes in the shooting pocket of waiting shooters.
Earlier we discussed his off charts athleticism, and his athletic comp is John Wall mixed with Russell Westbrook. Morant just like Wall can play with speed an also with pace. While Wall is an explosive athlete in his own right, Morant’s jumping ability and explosion reminds of Westbrook. Westbrook dunks the ball with anger and rage, and Morant had several dunks like that this season. Including a dunk in the NCAA Tournament against Marquette. He caught the ball on a back door cut, took one big power step, elevated and cocked the ball back behind his head before dunking on the helpless defender.
The consensus is that Zion Williamson is the number one overall prospect, he is considered a once in generation talent. With his highlight reel dunks he is a NBA Owners ticket selling dream. While, all of this maybe true there are still some unanswered questions surrounding Williamson and his game. Number one what position is Zion going to play? With his hard nose style of play, and at times his complete disregard for his body how will his health hold up?
Morant is a once in generation talent himself in an era where great point guard play can make you championship contender. There are several teams that are in the lottery that are in desperate need of a point guard. Two teams come to mind are the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns. Both have young promising cores that need a play-making guard like Morant. Lauri Markkanen’s sophomore campaign in Chicago was stellar he averaged 18.7 points, 9 rebounds on 43% shooting from the field. He also shot 36% from three, his versatility as big would make him and Morant unstoppable in the pick n roll. Before suffering a thumb injury that ended his season Wendell Carter Jr. was having an impressive rookie season. He averaged a respectful 10 points, 7 rebounds on 48% shooting from the field. For a rookie he was super impressive on the defense end protecting the rim and showing great shot blocking ability.
The Phoenix Suns have one of the best young guards in Devin Booker. Adding a player like Morant would free Booker up more where he can play off the ball, and focus more on scoring. Andre Ayton who they took with the number one pick last season had a solid rookie season. He averaged 16 points a rookie best 10 rebounds, and he led all rookies in defensive rating. He struggled mightily with his defense early in the season. This shows his ability to work hard and improve a weakness in his game.
In my opinion there is only two teams in the lottery that should pass on Morant and that is the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks. Both teams already have dynamic play-makers and ball handlers. Trae Young who like Morant led the nation in assists, led all rookies in assists averaging 8. He also was second in scoring averaging 19 points a game. Luka Doncic led all rookies in scoring averaging 21 points a game and was second to Young in assists averaging 7.82 a game. That’s why they should be the first co-rookies of the year since Elton Brand and Steve Francis shared the award.
In today’s NBA the pick n roll and guards dominate the game. That is why if I was running an organization I would take Ja Morant with the number one pick. I believe when it is all said and done he has all the tools and potential to go down as why of the best point guards to ever play the game. Now we have to sit back and watch which GM will have the guts to pick Ja Morant with the number one pick.