JA MORANT 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: MURRAY STATE
WEIGHT: 175 POUNDS
POSITION: POINT GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: TOP 5 PICK (NUMBER 1 RATED POINT GUARD)
- One-man offensive dynamo whose all-around on-court production has been compared to that of Russell Westbrook
- Plays more like a combo guard, but always looking to set up teammates, evidenced by his NCAA-leading 10+ assists per game
- Will attack the rim without abandon, either blowing past defenders who stand in his way, if not posterizing them with his violent dunking style
- Ability to hit three-point shot has shown continued improvement, now creeping over making 35% of his attempts
- Will be “red-flagged” because of his just-under-optimal height (6’3) and thin frame (listed at only 175lbs)
- Averaging over five turnovers per game, which could be explained because he’s a one-man offensive show, but will it still raise some eyebrows
- While the mechanics of his jump shot are sound, he’s still not a consistently reliable jump-shooter
- Despite his overall stat production, playing at Murray State will lead some scouts to question the quality of his competition
There’s a sizable pocket of folks with vested interest in the 2019 NBA Draft who will tell you that Ja Morant might be the most exciting prospect in this upcoming draft class, this side of Zion Williamson (ironically, Morant was once teammates with Williamson on the AAU circuit). But there’s also a small — but growing — pocket of individuals who’ll tell you that Morant might actually be the best prospect in this upcoming draft class, even ahead of anyone among Duke University’s heralded freshman quartet.
Slept on coming out of high school, after being something of a late bloomer, the combination of Morant’s smaller stature plus ability to unleash a monsoon of offensive output on opponents of the Murray State Racers every single evening has drawn comparisons to guys like Damian Lillard of the Portland TrailBlazers to Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He scores without conscience, attacks the rim like a steaming locomotive, and most importantly, sets up teammates on offense with passes that put them in perfect position to finish off plays.
The 6’3 point guard is averaging around 27 points per game, leads the nation in assists (handing out over 10 dimes per game), but also pulls down over 6 rebounds per game. In other words, he’s averaging almost a triple-double per game — at the college level.
Like the many athletic point guards playing in the NBA today, one of the keys to Morant’s game will be learning to find that balance of when to up-shift and downshift his God-given athletic gifts, and how to control both himself and the flow of his team’s offense.
In addition, like many guys at the college level, Morant is still developing his jump shot. He’s shooting over 60% from inside the arc (and around 35% from three), and hits around 80% of his free throws, so the KPI’s of being able to shoot at the NBA-level are there; he just has to continue to build on it.
If Morant can continue to fill out his frame and build a reliable jumper, his absolute floor would be something like a Lou Williams-type of players, with the upside of being a multi-time All-Star. With the success of small school D1 players like Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, NBA scouts won’t and shouldn’t be worried about how Morant’s game translates at the NBA level.
Ja Morant is our number 1 rated point guard for June’s draft and should hear his name called within the first 5 selections. If his jump-shot ever becomes a reliable weapon, he has superstar potential. He can be as good as he wants.
HIGHLIGHTS OF JA MORANT
What current NBA point guard reminds you of JA Morant?
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