At the start of the college basketball season, Ja Morant was not a name most basketball fans knew. He was the point guard for Murray State and he showed up in the lower lottery on mock drafts, but few had seen him play.
By the time he was dropping a triple-double in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, everyone knew who Morant was — including teams, which had him in the top three on draft boards.
As was expected after his breakout season, Morant is entering the draft, as broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Morant will likely go second or third in the draft, according to sources around the league. Second is most likely, but if a team lands the second pick that already has a ball-handling point guard they like — for example, Atlanta and Trae Young — they may try to trade the pick, or keep it and take another player high on their draft board (R.J. Barrett is the other player under consideration in that slot by teams).
Morant is a score-first point guard who is an explosive athlete, has a tremendous handle, impressive court vision and he knows how to make every pass you can think of. Right now he thinks scoring first and second, passing third, and in the NBA that may need to evolve. The jumper is going to need work at the NBA level (as we can say about most guys coming out of college). If Morant is willing to put in the work on that jumper, he has a pretty high ceiling.
In today’s NBA, where teams need a good point guard to be elite, Morant is going to be a hot commodity.