What’s Next for Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies?
WHAT’S NEXT FOR JA MORANT AND THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES – On Sunday morning, reports and videos swirled after Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant was seen flashing a gun on Instagram Live. Again.
Earlier in the season, Morant was suspended for flashing a gun at a Denver strip club, and he returned and was able to help Memphis secure the second spot in the Western Conference. Then, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers ended the Grizzlies season.
Weeks later, Morant has been suspended again, this time by the Grizzlies. Now, questions are floating around regarding the superstar point guard that was one of the faces of the league prior to that first incident.
So, the question is, what’s next for Ja Morant and the Grizzlies?
Ja Morant was seen on live with a gun AGAIN pic.twitter.com/41iL7Hqmes
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 14, 2023
To put it simply, nobody has the slightest idea. Last summer, Morant and the Grizzlies agreed to a five-year extension worth as much as $231 million. When he’s on the floor, he’s one of the best players in the league, and his relentless motor on both ends has made him a fan favorite.
But, for the second time since the calendar flipped to 2023, he has been suspended for flashing a handgun. Back in March, following a suspension by the NBA and mandated counseling, Morant was extremely honest about the situation:
“I made mistakes in the past that caused a lot of negative attention, not only to me, but my family as well, my team, the organization, and I’m completely sorry for that. My job now is being more responsible.”
For the Grizzlies, they have to think long and hard about the next steps. From a pure basketball standpoint, he’s worth every penny of that massive extension. From an organizational perspective, cutting ties with Morant would send Memphis back into a tough spot, especially with Dillon Brooks’ antics and his rumored departure this summer.
Morant already cost himself $39 million and an All-NBA vote by missing time, and this latest incident should further have him under the microscope. The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver now have an even more difficult task: How long will Morant be suspended this time?
Will Morant lose his Nike contract? Will the Grizzlies decide it’s best to part ways and not have to deal with the constant drama? On both ends, a serious statement has to be made.
What Would a Trade Look Like?
Do the Grizzlies consider trading Morant? At the very least, the conversation has to be made. As a franchise, this has to have some thought over the next month or two.
But what would a Morant trade even look like? Yes, he’s one of the most talented players in the NBA and just 23-years-old. If nothing ever occurred, he would likely command a multitude of picks and players for his services.
At this very moment, his value might be at an all-time low, especially with a likely 20-game suspension, minimum, to begin next season. If the Grizzlies were lucky, they could get a team to pick up the majority of his salary and call it a good deal. That’s the harsh reality.
At the end of the day, basketball fans everywhere just want Ja Morant to be on the court and be issue-free. That’s the truth. When he’s out there, he’s one of the most enjoyable players to watch. That’s all we can hope for.
From the Grizzlies perspective, it will be a long couple of months, and the future of Ja Morant in Memphis is cloudy, at best.