Ole Dirty Klondike

Is Ja Morant Worthy of a #2 pick?

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9 minutes ago, Memphis Maverick said:

3 players with similar stats coming out of college. Ja, Cam, Trae.

2 of those players played much easier schedules. 

But, also, Trae avg 5.2 TO a game in college as well. 

I think it can go either way, but I’m leaning towards him being a star. And Cam wasn’t bad. Injuries killed that. 

 

Ha Haaaa! 

I kinda , sorta, A WHOLE LOT knew that you’d find a way to work Trae into this !

🤣💨🤣💨🤣

for what it’s worth - I agree !

boom or bust -> this is the first time that I really believe we are gonna hit the boom side.

I’m riding with costarica2  too -> I can see even casual b-ball fans purchasing tickets to see him play.

good thread ODK ... there is a lot to unpack here.

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16 minutes ago, Memphis Maverick said:

3 players with similar stats coming out of college. Ja, Cam, Trae.

2 of those players played much easier schedules. 

But, also, Trae avg 5.2 TO a game in college as well. 

I think it can go either way, but I’m leaning towards him being a star. And Cam wasn’t bad. Injuries killed that. 

 

Yeah, I don't get it.  "Lots" of people loved Trae -- and some of those people don't like Ja.  I don't get it.  And, Trae was pretty much a VOLUME scorer in college, and STREAKY from 3 (his percentages really faded in conference play).

I think Ja has a bit more upside than Trae (Ja might give you more Collin Sexton-style scoring), but with both (Ja/Trae) you are basically getting ball handling, passing, floor leadership, floor spacing, and intangibles with everything else being icing on the cake.  

Ja has as much of a case to be the NUMBER ONE pick as he does for falling outside the top 4.  Yeah, I might as well stay on RJ Island.  

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12 minutes ago, Father Pat said:

I don't follow college hoops anymore, but the arguments against Ja being from a crap school in a crap conference where the same arguments brought up for Steph Curry and Larry Bird, and probably other players that don't come to mind right now.

Well, I just took a quick glance at 1st round draft picks from none high major conferences (for the purposes of this argument that would include Big10, Big12, ACC, Pac12, SEC, Big East, Mountain West and AAC) from 2010-2017 and here's who's been drafted from non high major conferences:

2010:

  • Larry Sanders (VCU/Atlantic 10)- #15 pick; Flamed out, blazed up and out of the league

2011

  • Jimmer Fredette (BYU/WCC)- #10 pick. Never caught on in NBA. Career journeyman
  • Kenneth Faried (Morehead St./OVC)- #22 pick. Has had a decent career, mostly a starter. 
  • Norris Cole (Cleveland ST./Horizon)- #28 pick. Bounced around, career backup PG. out of league after 6 years

2012

  • Damian Lillard (Weber St./Big Sky)- #6 pick. Superstar
  • Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure/Atlantic 10)- #19 pick. Short unremarkable career. out of league after 5 years

2013

  • CJ McCollum (Lehigh/Patriot)- #10. near superstar. 
  • Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga/WCC)- #13. Decent role player

2014

  • Elfrid Payton (Louisiana Lafayette/Sun Belt)- #10 pick. Decent career probably best used as a backup pg long term

2015

  • Cameron Payne (Murray St./OVC)- #14 pick. injury riddled career. Probably best used as a backup PG from here on out
  • RJ Hunter (Georgia St./Sun Belt)- #28 pick. 3 teams, 45 games played in 4 years No impact

2016

  • Damontis Sabonis (Gonzaga/WCC)- #11 pick. Has been a really good backup big up to this point. Probably should be a starter
  • DeAndre Bembry (St. Joseph's/A10)- #21 pick. Progressing as a backup SF
  • Pascal Siakan (NMSU/WAC)- Solid starter

2017

  • Zach Collins (Gonzaga/WCC)- #10 pick. Very early on, only 2 years though

Everything's a crapshoot but it seems like the overwhelming majority comes from one of those 8 conferences. Maybe we can get lucky like Portland and get a starting backcourt from smaller schools who don't care about the bright lights and big city

 

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1 hour ago, ALT GRIND said:

Does anybody have ESPN Insider?

Yes, why?

30 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

I prefer guys who have chips on their shoulders from the draft. Guys who expected to go higher and really want to prove everyone wrong. Donovan Mitchell was upset he dropped down to where he did.

In this draft I see RJ as that type of guy. RJ has repeatedly said he should go #1 and will prove it next season. He is still hungry and I live that in a rookie. 

RJ was the consensus #1 this time last year and has dropped not 1 but 2 spots. He avg more points and assists than Zion but Zion leapfrogged him due to his body frame, extreme athleticism and ridiculous FG%. I'm not sure if Zion will be that much better than RJ if at all at the pro level. I can see where RJ fits, he just has to put it all together and make it happen. I still don't see where Zion fits. I think he'll be a good player but I don't think Zion will live up to the hype throughout his career. I think RJ may very well be the best player to come out of this draft 3-5 years from now but we'll see. 

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1 minute ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

Yes, why?

RJ was the consensus #1 this time last year and has dropped not 1 but 2 spots. He avg more points and assists than Zion but Zion leapfrogged him due to his body frame, extreme athleticism and ridiculous FG%. I'm not sure if Zion will be that much better than RJ if at all at the pro level. I can see where RJ fits, he just has to put it all together and make it happen. I still don't see where Zion fits. I think he'll be a good player but I don't think Zion will live up to the hype throughout his career. I think RJ may very well be the best player to come out of this draft 3-5 years from now but we'll see. 

If the Knicks land RJ Barrett but don't get Durant or one of those guys in free agency then I am putting Barrett at point guard and running non-stop pick and rolls with Mitchell Robinson.  

RJ has IDEAL lead guard size and mentality.  I don't really like him off the ball as a guy who can't really shoot that well.

Zion NEEDS Darius Garland.  Some ultra shooting floor spacer at the point who can open things up for The Big Easy (that's his new nickname).  If you watch highlight clips of the McDonald's All American game (and the scrimmage), Garland threw some nifty passes to Zion for easy finishes.  The Big Easy played with THREE first round perimeter guys last year (RJ, Reddish, and Trae Jones for next year) so that might be a red flag.  Those 3 could probably make A LOT of big men look good.

Whereas a guy like Ja could probably turn an athletic project like Kenny Wooten into this year's Mitchell Robinson.

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16 minutes ago, ALT GRIND said:

If the Knicks land RJ Barrett but don't get Durant or one of those guys in free agency then I am putting Barrett at point guard and running non-stop pick and rolls with Mitchell Robinson.  

RJ has IDEAL lead guard size and mentality.  I don't really like him off the ball as a guy who can't really shoot that well.

Zion NEEDS Darius Garland.  Some ultra shooting floor spacer at the point who can open things up for The Big Easy (that's his new nickname).  If you watch highlight clips of the McDonald's All American game (and the scrimmage), Garland threw some nifty passes to Zion for easy finishes.  The Big Easy played with THREE first round perimeter guys last year (RJ, Reddish, and Trae Jones for next year) so that might be a red flag.  Those 3 could probably make A LOT of big men look good.

Whereas a guy like Ja could probably turn an athletic project like Kenny Wooten into this year's Mitchell Robinson.

Why did you ask about ESPN Insider? (I think it's ESPN Plus now)

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I said this the night of the lottery and I am still saying it...The Grizzlies should be offering the #2 pick to the Knicks for a future first and their 3rd pick. Memphis could still end up with Ja or they get RJ and a first. If they get RJ think of the team Memphis could put on the court (in no particular order):

PG: Conley, Wright, Carter
SG: Brooks, RJ, CJ 
SF: Anderson, Bruno Caboclo
PF: JJJ, Rabb, Watanabe
C : Jonas, Zeller

plus at least one more first round pick to make up for the one we owe Boston. 

The team could run a lot of time with JJJ at center and Rabb/Caboclo at PF with Wright, RJ and Bruno too. They'd have depth and could really scare teams with different matchups. 

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23 minutes ago, ALT GRIND said:

If the Knicks land RJ Barrett but don't get Durant or one of those guys in free agency then I am putting Barrett at point guard and running non-stop pick and rolls with Mitchell Robinson.  

RJ has IDEAL lead guard size and mentality.  I don't really like him off the ball as a guy who can't really shoot that well.

Zion NEEDS Darius Garland.  Some ultra shooting floor spacer at the point who can open things up for The Big Easy (that's his new nickname).  If you watch highlight clips of the McDonald's All American game (and the scrimmage), Garland threw some nifty passes to Zion for easy finishes.  The Big Easy played with THREE first round perimeter guys last year (RJ, Reddish, and Trae Jones for next year) so that might be a red flag.  Those 3 could probably make A LOT of big men look good.

Whereas a guy like Ja could probably turn an athletic project like Kenny Wooten into this year's Mitchell Robinson.

Image result for tell me how you really feel gif

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8 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

I said this the night of the lottery and I am still saying it...The Grizzlies should be offering the #2 pick to the Knicks for a future first and their 3rd pick. Memphis could still end up with Ja or they get RJ and a first. If they get RJ think of the team Memphis could put on the court (in no particular order):

PG: Conley, Wright, Carter
SG: Brooks, RJ, CJ 
SF: Anderson, Bruno Caboclo
PF: JJJ, Rabb, Watanabe
C : Jonas, Zeller

plus at least one more first round pick to make up for the one we owe Boston. 

The team could run a lot of time with JJJ at center and Rabb/Caboclo at PF with Wright, RJ and Bruno too. They'd have depth and could really scare teams with different matchups. 

I agree but I would also try to pull either Kevin Knox or Mitchell Robinson as well. For no other reason than to make teh Knicks look bad and make it looked like they failed on a previous years draft pick. Knox could be expendable if they truly think they will get KD.

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1 minute ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

I agree but I would also try to pull either Kevin Knox or Mitchell Robinson as well. For no other reason than to make teh Knicks look bad and make it looked like they failed on a previous years draft pick. Knox could be expendable if they truly think they will get KD.

You want Knox and a future 1st round pick? 

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4 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

You want Knox and a future 1st round pick? 

in addition to the #2 pick. Hey, rob 'em. They would rob us. 

 

For all we know, this Ja Morant rumor stuff may be one big ruse by the Grizzlies. Their real target may be Barrett or even that Garland guy out of Vandy and they floated that info out there to see who will bite to trade up.  

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5 minutes ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

in addition to the #2 pick. Hey, rob 'em. They would rob us. 

For all we know, this Ja Morant rumor stuff may be one big ruse by the Grizzlies. Their real target may be Barrett or even that Garland guy out of Vandy and they floated that info out there to see who will bite to trade up.  

Are you suggesting the #3 pick in this year's draft, Kenny Knox and a future first to move up one spot in the draft? 

The going rate to move up in the draft has been a future first. That's what Phillly gave up to move up to draft Fultz and that is what Dallas gave up to get Luka Doncic. 

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Just watching the tape he obviously has a chance to be special. Any other talk is just noise 

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13 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

Are you suggesting the #3 pick in this year's draft, Kenny Knox and a future first to move up one spot in the draft? 

The going rate to move up in the draft has been a future first. That's what Phillly gave up to move up to draft Fultz and that is what Dallas gave up to get Luka Doncic. 

Ehh, it's the Knicks. They'll bite.

4 minutes ago, Allen said:

Just watching the tape he obviously has a chance to be special. Any other talk is just noise 

Who Ja or RJ?

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1 minute ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

Ehh, it's the Knicks. They'll bite.

Who Ja or RJ?

Ja

Barrett reminds me of Evan Turner

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18 minutes ago, Allen said:

Just watching the tape he obviously has a chance to be special. Any other talk is just noise 

Bingo...  no need to overthink this or get cute.    He already has elite playmaking skills.   Get him stronger and work on his shooting and he can be a Star.  

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16 minutes ago, Allen said:

Just watching the tape he obviously has a chance to be special. Any other talk is just noise 

I'm hoping his defense in college is a function of not putting in the effort in order to maintain energy on offense/avoid foul trouble (given he was their whole team essentially) rather than lack of instincts and defensive ability, because some of the clips are pretty bad, especially off the ball.  

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19 minutes ago, Allen said:

Just watching the tape he obviously has a chance to be special. Any other talk is just noise 

100%. 

I want even to add that it has become about love what relates to Ja. He is already in my heart. It seems that nothing I can do with that.

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5 hours ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

[DISCLAIMER: I like to play devil's advocate at times. I also like to force people to do something that most Americans hate to do.....actually THINK! No need to get offended or emotional. it's just getting you to think. As people will remember before the Draft Lottery, I said that I would prefer us getting the #2 pick and picking Morant over getting the #1 pick and picking Williamson so this thread is in no way bashing Morant, just bringing up a real question]

Is Ja Morant really worth of the #2 pick? Are people that cocksure that he will be a superstar and he's the heir apparent to Conley? The person who will be Mike plus athleticism, hops and flashy passes?  I was listening to Jonathan Givony on the radio after the draft lottery and brought up a point which I don't think anyone is considering. On paper, if I told you that you had to choose between two players which one would you choose? Player A is a 6'3", 165 pound PG who came out of nowhere to put up eye popping stats while playing at a small school in a mid-major conference vs Player B who is an athletic 6'7" scorer who can score anywhere on the floor who led the ACC (the best college bball conf) in scoring and was in a battle almost every night against top level talent, not to mention he led his national team to a FIBA U19 World Cup Championship and his father was a pro bball player. THE CHOICE WOULD BE OBVIOUS. If you didn't know who these players were, the overwhelming majority of people would select the ACC guy who has a better pedigree and a longer history of success at a high level.  Yet, we have somehow focused on Ja Morant as the clear cut choice as the #2 pick, why?

Ja Morant said that he couldn't even dunk until the summer before his senior year in high school. Also, Ja and Zion played together on an AAU team. Zion went on to a bigger circuit with a team sponsored by a shoe company, but Ja didn't, why? Not many D1 colleges recruited Ja, why?I think these are all valid questions to ask because how many times have you seen someone come out of virtually nowhere to be a top lottery pick and go on to have success in the NBA?

Ja's numbers in his sophomore season were eye popping but what do those numbers mean? I mean, the number 1 scorer in D1 basketball last season was Chris Clemons from Campbell. he averaged 30 ppg last year and has scored over 20 ppg for 3 straight seasons. Why not draft him? Why not draft Justin Wright-Foreman from Hofstra who was the #2 scorer and has scored at least 18 ppg for 3 straight years and he's about the same height but thicker than Ja. What makes Ja so special and different than these other mid-major guys who put up big time meaningless stats against teams where no one will sniff the NBA? Let's look at Ja's performance against high major teams:

in his freshman year(unless I overlooked someone), I only see that he played against 2 high major teams- Auburn and West Virginia:

  • Auburn- Loss, Ja has 9 points, 5 assists and 7 boards  and was 2-10 from the field against Auburn in a loss. 
  • West Virginia- NCAA Tournament game- Loss, Ja had 14 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds in a loss. As I mentioned before, Jevon Carter played in this game and had 21 points, 8 assists, 6 steals and 5 boards and he's a 10th string PG in the NBA.

I will say both of those teams were good teams and Ja was a freshman so he had to adapt but a loss is a loss and his 2 opportunities against high major teams resulted in losses his freshman year. Let's do the same for his sophomore year. He played against Alabama, Auburn, Marquette (I'll say the big East is a high major), and Florida State:

  • Alabama- Loss, Ja had 38 points, 9 boards, and 5 dimes in this loss...but he also had 10 turnovers
  • Auburn- Loss, Ja had 25 points, 8 boards and 7 dimes with 5 turnovers
  • Marquette- Win, NCAA Tourney game, ja had 17 point, 11 boards and 16 dimes along with 7 turnovers in the win
  • Florida State- Loss, NCAA Tourney game, 28 points, 5 reb, and 4 assists

I think it's fair to say that he was able to put up stats in those games, but did those stats help the team win? His best all around game was against Marquette and they won. The other games he seemed to score a lot but also had high turnovers so he was probably out of control. As a matter of fact, Ja average over 5 turnovers per game last year, maybe he was trying to do too much? So he was 1-5 against high major teams in a 2 year career. 

i just really feel there are some red flags surrounding a player who came out of nowhere. Now to be fair, I think there are red flags around Zion as well as RJ. Both played at Duke where players tend to disappoint in the NBA and Zion doesn't have a true position, not sure if he can stay healthy with his body weight. You look at RJ and not only do Duke players disappoint but so do Canadian players so that's a crapshoot as well. 

Is Ja really worthy of the #2 pick? Will he really be a hybrid of Westbrook and Rondo or will he be Cam Payne all over again? (for those who don't know, Cam is from Memphis, similar height and weight, played at Murray State and put up big numbers there but isn't exactly setting the NBA world on fire)

 

What is the forbidden fruit? Let me see how you think!

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31 minutes ago, Allen said:

Ja

Barrett reminds me of Evan Turner

Barrett reminds me of Tony Wroten although I still think RJ is a pretty good pick -- Ja has more "upside" maybe even more than Zion.  

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Development is key for whoever we pick so the stat deep dive doesn't scare me.    Fit/opportunity and player drive are the real factors to success.   I love his attitude and his story and bio fit the Memphis culture.    I also believe he is the more natural fit with Jaren, which is exciting by itself.   Pick em.

 

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10 minutes ago, ALT GRIND said:

Barrett reminds me of Tony Wroten although I still think RJ is a pretty good pick -- Ja has more "upside" maybe even more than Zion.  

Upside is always nice to talk about but what is the floor for these two? 

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2 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

Upside is always nice to talk about but what is the floor for these two? 

RJ: Wrotenesque potential for a floor.  

Ja floor: best of Elliott Perry meets J Will plus prime Kenny Smith/Steve Francis dunks.  

RJ upside: one of the better big guards you can think of.

Ja upside: mix of AI and Jordan (with passing).  Prototype guard of his era.

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1 hour ago, chipc3 said:

I said this the night of the lottery and I am still saying it...The Grizzlies should be offering the #2 pick to the Knicks for a future first and their 3rd pick. Memphis could still end up with Ja or they get RJ and a first. If they get RJ think of the team Memphis could put on the court (in no particular order):

PG: Conley, Wright, Carter
SG: Brooks, RJ, CJ 
SF: Anderson, Bruno Caboclo
PF: JJJ, Rabb, Watanabe
C : Jonas, Zeller

plus at least one more first round pick to make up for the one we owe Boston. 

The team could run a lot of time with JJJ at center and Rabb/Caboclo at PF with Wright, RJ and Bruno too. They'd have depth and could really scare teams with different matchups. 

I’m not down with any plan that involves keeping Conley. It’s a short sighted move. He’ll never have as much value as he has now, so regardless of who they draft is trade him for the best deal this offseason. I also don’t agree that if they trade Conley they need Ja as his replacement. If they believe Ja is the best player available (I do) then you take him. If they don’t then you take whoever you think is, if it pans out the fans won’t even remember they were mad. Heck I was flipping out when they drafted JJJ, but now I’m cool with it. Wins will put butts in seats and prolonging the exit of Mike Conley is not the way to build a sustainable winner.

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Ja's "floor" would probably still be higher than any other number 2 pick that Grizzlies Co. has been able to bring in.  Stevie Franchise didn't even report for duty.

Zion's FLOOR would probably be the biggest bust in the history of North American pro sports.  The next 6'6 Darryl Dawkins or Jerome Lane on steroids won't get it done.  Zion is good and could be great but he looks like a Saints pick.  I can also see a team using him wrong.  I think you put him at the 5 with a floor stretching point guard and a bunch of hyper-speed athletic shooters and hope you can run other teams out of the building.  

Zion might have to be the next Oscar Robertson aka Big O -- OR BUST.

A "floor general" like Ja Morant has more outs.  Even moreso than a guard with more size and length but maybe not a true floor general/ideal lead guard like RJ Barrett.  Darius Garland can shoot and dribble, but is he just a small 2 guard?  If Darius Garland has to be the next Isiah Thomas@the REAL ISIAH THOMAS then maybe he won't live up to expectations.

For bigs now, they are (relatively) easy to find and easier to game plan against.  

For big men, "DEPTH" is gonna be the key word going forward.  Like, teams need big men bull pens.  So, each big man is worth relatively less, but you still need 4 or 5 good ones plus an ace or two.  

For guard, you NEED a legit point guard even if he plays with a combo guard (and you still need a solid backup point guard plus at least one more player 1-5 who can dribble some, pass some, and run some offense).

Not many 6'6 combo forward types have been the top pick.  Ironically, all the ones I can name (or most of them I have looked into) were followed by a 6'1-6'3 point guard/combo guard.

Oscar Robertson/Jerry West in 1960 (ok, Big O was a guard but built like a forward), Jimmy Walker/Earl Monroe in 1967 (ok, I know very little about Walker but I am pretty sure he ain't a HOFer), Mark Aguirre/Isiah Thomas in 1981, and Larry Johnson/Kenny Anderson in 1991.  

I can see Ja Morant showing shades of those 2nd picks: West/Pearl/Isiah/Special K.

I can also see Zion showing shades of those top picks: Big O/Aguirre/LJ -- and I need to do some more research on Jimmy Walker.

 

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