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- 2019 NBA Draft Profile: Ja Morant - June 20, 2019
His career and reputation took off as a multi-faceted player on the offensive end, but Morant has the natural size and ability to be a lockdown defender and top-end creator — for himself and teammates.
Morant profiles well as a point guard with the take-over ability of a pure scorer, and some have made lofty comps to a cross between Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook and Kings up-and-comer De’Aaron Fox.
Morant averaged an NCAA-leading 10 assists per game to go with 24.5 points per game. He made 49.9 percent of his field-goal attempts, a high rate for a guard capable of volume scoring.
Scouts began to get on board early in his sophomore season. Morant showed well against some of the best teams on the Murray State schedule, so that helped dismiss the notion that he might be feasting on lesser competition. He posted 25 or more points against Auburn, Alabama and Florida State.
He can put on a highlight show — most average fans boarded the bandwagon with his big games in the NCAA Tournament — at the rim and from long range. Plus, there’s the dynamic passing skills that create some of the biggest reactions.
His quickness can force defenders into fouling and so that’s a major part of his game as well.
In both of his college seasons, he averaged 5.7 rebounds or more per game.
He oozes athleticism and he’s not afraid to use it. He’ll have to continue to evolve as a player because athleticism alone won’t carry most players far enough in the NBA, but Morant is a coachable player with superstar skills and adaptability to a given system is not considered a challenge.
Plainly, he’s not like most players. Point guards with the ability of Morant don’t come around all that often.
While much of the attention falls on his offense, it’s the defensive side that appeals to some evaluators. He can use his 6-foot-8-inch wingspan to be a special type of defender.
Morant will be surrounded by talented players in the NBA. The best compliment scouts are paying him is that he could either carry the load and still stand out or blend in to make others produce at a higher level.
2019 NBA Draft Projection: 2nd to Memphis Grizzlies
— Field Level Media