Ja Morant
Ja Morant
22-Year-Old GuardG
Memphis Grizzlies
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The 2019-20 Rookie of the Year, Morant's numbers took a step back last season. He ranked 74th in per-game fantasy production as a rookie, with that number dropping to 114th in 2020-21. The main culprit was his decreasing efficiency. All of Morant's shooting percentages fell, with the point guard hitting just 44.9 percent of his field goals and 72.8 percent of his free throws. He's also not a positive in the three-pointers (1.2) or steals (0.9) categories. Obviously, Morant's 19.1 points and 7.4 assists per game were excellent, but his real-life reputation far outweighed his fantasy value last season. That said, it's clear that Morant has what it takes to be an elite point guard. His performances in the play-in games and five playoff contests were fantastic. In his final seven appearances, Morant averaged 29.4 points, 7.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.4 threes across 41.3 minutes on 48/37/73 shooting. Morant will need to find a way to become a consistent three-point shooter and stat-accumulating defender to make a massive leap as a fantasy player, but he absolutely has the talent to do it. Plus, he's already proven he can be a nightly 30-and-10 threat with a below-average jumpshot. Based on pure upside, Morant will be a popular selection, potentially as high as the third round, but fantasy managers must be cognizant of the holes in his stat profile over his first two NBA seasons. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $17.9 million contract with the Grizzlies in July of 2019. Grizzlies exercised $9.6 million team option for 2021-22 in December of 2020.
Personal Bio

Morant was born in 1999 in Dalzell, South Carolina. As both a junior and senior at Crestwood High School, Morant earned South Carolina 3A All-State honors. He was also a three-time Region MVP. As a senior, he averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game. Morant finished as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,679 points). Check the South Carolinian out on Twitter (@JaMorant).

College/International Summary

As a sophomore, Morant was named to the All-America first team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches after the 2018-19 season. He was also pegged as the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. The guard led the nation in assists in 2018-19 season with 331, which were also the sixth most in NCAA single-season history. Morant was also eighth in the country in average scoring (24.5 points) and ninth in double-doubles (20). He was also the MVP of the OVC Tournament after averaging 32.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists en route to the tournament title. Despite losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (to Florida), Morant tied an NCAA first-round record with 16 assists. As a freshman Morant was named to the All-OVC first and All-OVC Newcomer teams. Morant declared for the 2019 NBA Draft after his sophomore season. The Datzell, South Carolina native was drafted No. 2 overal by the Grizzlies.

Stellar effort in loss
GMemphis Grizzlies
June 3, 2021
Morant produced 27 points (11-22 FG, 5-9 3Pt), 11 assists and seven rebounds across 40 minutes in Wednesday's loss to the Jazz.
ANALYSIS
Morant ended just three rebounds away from putting up a triple-double but his efforts were not enough to avoid the Grizzlies' elimination in the first round. The second-year floor general played at a very high level throughout the series, ending with two double-doubles and scoring at least 23 points in each game, despite facing a far more experienced opponent. Morant ends the playoff stretch averaging 30.2 points, 8.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game in five appearances.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Morant delivered even better numbers than the ones he posted during his stellar rookie year in 2019-20, and he cemented his place as the franchise cornerstone for years to come. The second-year point guard improved most of his numbers from his rookie year and finished the campaign with averages of 19.1 points, 7.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.2 blocks per game during the regular season. He also shot 44.9 percent from the field, 30.3 percent from three-point range, and 72.8 percent from the charity stripe. Morant's best game of the regular season came against the San Antonio Spurs on December 23, when he poured 47 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds across 35 minutes. That was the only time he eclipsed the 40-point mark in the regular season, but he scored at least 30 points nine different and reached the 20-point plateau an astonishing 25 times during the regular season. Other regular-season season-best marks included 11 rebounds, 13 assists, three steals (four times) and two blocks. Morant stepped his game up in the playoffs, though, starting in all seven contests between the postseason and the play-in tournament. He averaged 29.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals across 41.3 minutes per game. He produced a season-best 47 points in the second game of their first-round series against the Utah Jazz, a game in which he also mustered seven assists and four boards. Morant also finished 18th in free throw attempts during the 2020-21 season, as he tossed 372 shots from the charity stripe.

2019

Following two college seasons at Murray State, Morant was selected by the Grizzlies with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-3 point guard made his NBA debut during the first game of the season, Oct. 23 against the Heat, recording 14 points, four rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block in 25 minutes. The rookie quickly got more comfortable, as just two games later, in a one-point win over the Nets, Morant recorded a season-high 30 points, nine assists, four rebounds, one steal and one block in 32 minutes. On Nov. 13, during a two-point win over the Hornets, Morant recorded his first double-double, accumulating 23 points, 11 assists, one steal and one rebound in 30 minutes. He would go on to post 14 more double-doubles throughout the season. Morant dished out a season-high 14 dimes twice -- Jan. 10 in a win over the Spurs and Feb. 29 in a win over the Lakers. He also posted one of his two triple-doubles in February during a win over the Wizards in which he had 27 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, one steal and one block. Morant's second triple-double occurred during the NBA bubble in Orlando, when he accumulated 12 points, a season-high 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over the Bucks. Morant's excellent play resulted in him being voted the Rookie of the Year for his play before the hiatus. Before the break, Morant averaged 17.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 30.0 minutes. In September, Morant was a unanimous selection to the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
The 2019-20 Rookie of the Year, Morant had one of the best first-year point guard campaigns in recent memory. Helping carry a team with extremely low expectations, the Murray State product averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 31.0 minutes per game. He also shot well all around, hitting 47.7 percent of his field goals, 33.5 percent of his 2.7 three-point attempts per game and 77.6 percent of his free throws. Morant also supplied an impressive 15 double-doubles and two triple-doubles in his 67 appearances. Now it's up to Morant to build upon increasingly high expectations in 2020-21, which won't be easy in a Western Conference that appears to be as stacked as ever. The rookie finished with a per-game, eight-category fantasy rank of 63 last season, with his most obvious weakness being three-point shooting, where he converted only 0.9 per contest. Morant was also relatively average on defense, combining for 1.2 steals-plus-blocks. Fantasy managers who are banking on those improvements -- or even improvements elsewhere -- will certainly select Morant higher than he was valued last season, and it wouldn't be surprising if his name was trending in the late-third to early-fourth rounds of most drafts.
Morant will presumably take over the Grizzlies' starting point guard spot, which was vacated as a result of the trade of Mike Conley to the Jazz. Morant, the 2018-19 OVC Player of the Year and Consensus All-American, averaged 24.5 points, 10.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals across 36.6 minutes last year with Murray State. He's lauded for his athleticism and playmaking ability, but an underdeveloped jumpshot and tendency to turn the ball over could be a cause of early struggles in the NBA. Rookie point guards can often get off to a rough start, but fantasy owners should be confident that the rookie will have a big role with the Grizzlies right out of the gate, and Memphis is likely to let Morant get plenty of reps considering the team's rebuilding status. Morant makes for a safer pick in points leagues, where a potentially troublesome field-goal percentage and lack of threes won't damage his fantasy value.
More Fantasy News
Double-doubles in loss Monday
GMemphis Grizzlies
May 31, 2021
Morant ended with 23 points (8-21 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 6-8 FT), 12 assists, six rebounds and one steal in 43 minutes during Monday's 120-113 loss to Utah.
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Late-game heroics come up short
GMemphis Grizzlies
May 30, 2021
Morant produced 28 points (10-23 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 6-8 FT), seven assists and three rebounds across 40 minutes in Saturday's 121-111 loss to the Jazz.
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Goes off for 47 in loss
GMemphis Grizzlies
May 27, 2021
Morant posted 47 points (15-26 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 15-20 FT), seven assists and four rebounds across 43 minutes Wednesday in the Grizzlies' 141-129 loss to Jazz in Game 2 of the series.
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Scores 26 points in upset win
GMemphis Grizzlies
May 24, 2021
Morant registered 26 points (11-21 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT), four rebounds, four assists and one steal in 35 minutes during Sunday's 112-109 win over the Jazz.
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Shines against Warriors
GMemphis Grizzlies
May 22, 2021
Morant recorded 35 points (14-29 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, six assists and four steals across 46 minutes in Friday's overtime win over the Warriors.
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