Murray State star Ja Morant is meeting with representatives of the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.
The Grizzlies have the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, and ESPN.com’s Jonathan Givony reported in May they “appear to have locked in” on Morant as their primary target.
Zion Williamson is the consensus No. 1 overall player in the 2019 draft class and widely expected to be the first pick. A similar level of agreement has coalesced around Morant as the next player off the board. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projected him as the No. 2 pick in his most recent mock draft.
Morant averaged 24.5 points and 10.0 assists in his sophomore year at Murray State. He also shot 49.9 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Fans who didn’t catch the Racers during the regular season got a taste of Morant’s skill set when he finished with 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds in a first-round win over Marquette.
Mike Conley is signed for one more year and has a player option for 2020-21, but that won’t stop the Grizzlies from positioning Morant as their point guard of the future. If anything, his arrival might hasten Conley’s departure.
Memphis already traded one of its franchise cornerstones, Marc Gasol, and dealing Conley would help the team’s rebuilding plan.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported the Miami Heat could look at acquiring Conley, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said the same of the Utah Jazz. Especially once Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and D’Angelo Russell sort out their futures, Conley will be the best point guard available for playoff contenders.
While seeing Conley go would be a tough emotional blow for the fanbase, the pair of Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. would represent an encouraging future.