By: Lucas Kochevar
With the second pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select Ja Morant from Murray State. The Memphis Grizzlies are no longer in the Grit N Grind era as they have shipped off the last true member in Mike Conley Jr. The Grizzlies are set to usher in a new era of Memphis basketball as they drafted star college PG Ja Morant and they hope to build around young budding star Jaren Jackson Jr.
Morant hopes to provide Memphis with a slashing style and exceptional passing. He should translate well to the NBA as he was far and away the best PG in this draft. What stands out to me is his passing skills. He comes in as a pro level passer and I am interested to see what he can do with NBA level talent. He posted 10 assists per game on a mid major school in Murray State. Imagine what he cna do with a professional team. I am looking forward to seeing him and Jaren Jackson in the pick n roll game.
Morant possesses the ideal court vision for an NBA guard as he is the best passer in this class. He has made a number of advanced passes in his college career. I believe his explosiveness will help him out a number of times for when he is slashing the paint. He has an elite first step that should catch defenders off guard. He has the ability to blow by anyone with elite athleticism. This should help out his perimeter defense too as speed can't be taught.
Morant does have a three point shot, however it is not up to NBA standard just yet. He shot 36% from three last year. He most likely will go through that struggle at the beginning of the year that most rookie PGs go through. Trae Young showed last year that when you go into a rough stretch just push the adversity aside and keep playing your style of basketball. Morant has to make sure that he stick to his strengths when adjusting.
I have faith in him and I believe he should fit in well as the face of the Memphis Grizzlies. He has the tools that any PG should have and he just has to clean up some rough areas in his game. Size will be a struggle but as Isiah Thomas has shown, size is just a number.
Projected Stats: 14.8 PTS 5.9 ASTS 0.9 STLS
By: Lucas Kochevar
The Process has been in motion for a couple of years now and I do not believe that you should trust it, yet. The only results it has produced is Simmons and Embiid. Everyone else on the team is in question.
You might be thinking "What about Saric? Covington? Redick?" First of all Redick was a free agent signing. Saric is a decent role player or a modern Toni Kukoc. Convington is another role player and your prototypical wing player. Aside from the selected players I have highlighted above, every other draft pick they have 'trusted the process' with has failed. Let us go back in time to the year 2013 when star SF Andre Igoudala was expected to leave and the team truly started their rebuilding years.
They had a draft class lead by C Nerlens Noel, who they traded all-star PG Jrue Holiday for, and Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams even won Rookie of the Year. Where are they now? Noel is not on the Sixers. Noel was traded to the Mavs last year. Carter-Williams? Maybe he is now the franchise PG for the Sixers after an impressive rookie year. False, he is backup in Charlotte and is regarded as one of the worst ROTYs in some time.
In 2014 they were more successful and drafted Embiid and Saric. They hit a homerun with Embiid and a nice double with Saric. The rest of the draft was not terrible either as they drafted Jerami Grant, who could be a good bench piece for the next couple of years. Oh wait, he was traded to the Thunder and has been an above average player for their bench. Also if we think about it, they already drafted Noel at this point. Why would they draft Embiid if they knew they had Noel?
Lets fast forward to 2015 where the Sixers once again held a high pick. The draft class was loaded. Surely they could not blow this draft. There were some nice guards to draft also some good wing players. They already had a loaded front court so a center did not make sense. Until they drafted Jahlil Okafor, center from Duke. Okafor was the third center they drafted top ten in the last three years. He also turned out to be one of the worst defensive players in the league and rode the bench until he was traded this year.
In 2016 they had three first round picks. They used them on Ben Simmons, Timmothe Luwou-Cabarrott, and Furkan Korkmaz. Simmons is a once in a generation kind of player. Luwou is the worst player on his team when it comes to TPA (Total Points Added) and Korkmaz just now came over and is not very good.
This year they drafted Markelle Fultz. He was a surefire baller, until he sustained an injury in his shoulder that made him forget how to shoot. That is not a joke. The best prospect in the draft completely forgot how to shoot a basketball. The Sixers are a good team, but the drafting/player development has been extremely questionable. The process has been good enough to find good players, they just need to develop the talent and make the team as good as it possibly can be,