The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Murray State point guard Ja Morant may have gone to a smaller school, but will be among the first names called in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Position: Point Guard
2018-2019 stats: 24.5 points per game, 10.0 assists per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 1.8 steals per game, 0.8 blocks per game, 49.9% FG, 36.3% 3 pt
Size: 6-foot-3, 175 pounds
Morant was overlooked in recruitment circles, as he played on the same AAU team as Zion Williamson. A Murray State coach had to go into an auxiliary gym to find him, and they found a diamond in the rough. Now, he is projected to be selected in the first five picks.
As a freshman, Morant had a solid start to his career with over 12 points, six rebounds and six assists per game. He took a step forward into the spotlight as a sophomore. Morant was a consensus All-American and was able to lead the Racers into the NCAA Tournament. He put on a show in the first round against Marquette with a triple-double. He played well in the second round against Florida State, as he scored 28 points, but the team lost to end his incredible season.
Even though he came out of nowhere to be a star in college basketball, Morant is by far the best point guard in this draft class and will be selected early.
Morant is great at creating his own shot. He can get by defenders and get to the basket with relative ease. He can also finish over much bigger defenders in the paint. Morant can shoot from deep, but what makes him great is the ability to clear space to get shots off.
His ability to set up his teammates for shots is among the best in the class. A lot of defenses focused on him last season and he still scored, but he also realized when defenders were collapsing on him and would pass the ball to a teammate for a basket. After averaging 10 assists per game this season, he should be able to be an effective passer in the NBA, especially with bigger floor to work with.
His athleticism has helped people draw comparisons between him and Russell Westbrook. He can finish well above the rim, but also has the quickness to get by defenders to do so. Being a good athlete makes him a threat in transition offensively and a good defender in transition as well. This also helps him with his defense as he should be able to guard most point guards in the league at a decent level.
While he is good at setting up his teammates, he is overly ambitious with his passes sometimes. He averaged 5.2 turnovers per game as a senior and needed to protect the ball better. For the most part, he makes high-IQ basketball plays, but sometimes trying to do too much with the ball will lead to more turnovers for him.
Morant needs to add strength to his frame to help him be durable and handle gritty NBA defenders. He was listed at 175 pounds by Murray State this season. For reference, Russell Westbrook is the same height, but weighs 200 pounds. If the whistles aren’t being blown and defenders are allowed to get their hands on him, Morant could have trouble separating because of his strength.
He did get his three-point shooting percentage up to 36.3 this season, but he is still inconsistent from behind the arc. He can make a few in a row, as he did against Florida State, but he also has shooting slumps. If he can consistently knock down shots from the outside shot, he could turn into a pretty complete NBA player.