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Ole Dirty Klondike

Top 25 Under 25: How Many Grizz Players?

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Ja is the lone Grizz at #15

 

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15. Ja Morant
Memphis Grizzlies
G
Age:
21.6

No. 4 on my list last year, Morant hasn't yet made the superstar leap I expected as he's shooting just 25.4% from behind the arc and posting a 37.2 eFG% on above-the-break 3s. But the fact that Morant has the Grizzlies in the playoff hunt yet again speaks to his winning impact.

He remains a high-level passer and holds superstar potential with his unshakable confidence. Plus, it's important to remember that Morant was facing Ohio Valley Conference competition less than two years ago. Morant doesn't turn 22 until Aug. 10, and I would anticipate a De'Aaron Fox-like progression in Years 3 and 4. -- Schmitz

 

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ESPN has become a bit of a clown show.  Trae Young isn't in their top ten either... I mean I know he's got his issues on the defensive end, but that's just absurd.  De'Aron Fox and SGA are solid players, but what have they ever done in their careers?  Ja and Trae both have made their otherwise relatively mediocre teams relevant and fighting for the playoffs.  

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20 minutes ago, BnaBreaker said:

ESPN has become a bit of a clown show.  Trae Young isn't in their top ten either... I mean I know he's got his issues on the defensive end, but that's just absurd.  De'Aron Fox and SGA are solid players, but what have they ever done in their careers?  Ja and Trae both have made their otherwise relatively mediocre teams relevant and fighting for the playoffs.  

I believe a rather mediocre OKC team made the playoffs last year led by SGA. Just saying...

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55 minutes ago, BnaBreaker said:

ESPN has become a bit of a clown show.  Trae Young isn't in their top ten either... I mean I know he's got his issues on the defensive end, but that's just absurd.  De'Aron Fox and SGA are solid players, but what have they ever done in their careers?  Ja and Trae both have made their otherwise relatively mediocre teams relevant and fighting for the playoffs.  

Well, this is the top 25 under 25 years of age so the "what have they ever done" could be a common theme amongst all of the players including Luka, Zion and LaMelo. Young comes in at #16 right behind Ja.

It's just a discussion topic. I am in no way agreeing or endorsing these rankings. It is interesting that we think we have such a great young team but only 1 player is on their radar and he dropped several slots from last year. Obviously, JJJ being injured isn't going to help his chances get on this list but it is disappointing not to see his name because it reminds me of what could be.

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2 minutes ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

Well, this is the top 25 under 25 years of age so the "what have they ever done" could be a common theme amongst all of the players including Luka, Zion and LaMelo. Young comes in at #16 right behind Ja.

It's just a discussion topic. I am in no way agreeing or endorsing these rankings. It is interesting that we think we have such a great young team but only 1 player is on their radar and he dropped several slots from last year. Obviously, JJJ being injured isn't going to help his chances get on this list but it is disappointing not to see his name because it reminds me of what could be.

Agree ODK, but a reminder these rankings are supposedly based on future potential, so it's more what Marks, Pelton and Schmitz think the player will be than what the player has done. 

My view is if these rankings ***** off Ja and Jaren and make them more motivated, great. 

A better ranking is just players on their rookie contracts. This is Booker's 6th year in the league, so kind of silly to compare him to LaMelo or SGA. 

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To be fair, only Ja and Jaren have the talent level to be on this list. No other young guys on the Grizz look like they have all-star potential at the moment. Lots of solid players, which is still good.

Jaren won't make the list since he hasn't played all year.

Ja is having a rough year, but I honestly think most of it is due to his ankle sprain. Think he rushed back and has been playing at less than 100% since.

As usual, it's ESPN being a crapshoot of subjectivity revolving mostly around raw numbers and big names/markets who make their highlight reels. 

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39 minutes ago, Everett said:

To be fair, only Ja and Jaren have the talent level to be on this list. No other young guys on the Grizz look like they have all-star potential at the moment. Lots of solid players, which is still good.

Jaren won't make the list since he hasn't played all year.

Ja is having a rough year, but I honestly think most of it is due to his ankle sprain. Think he rushed back and has been playing at less than 100% since.

As usual, it's ESPN being a crapshoot of subjectivity revolving mostly around raw numbers and big names/markets who make their highlight reels. 

I disagree. Shai in Ok City, Booker in Phoenix, LaMelo in Charlotte, Donavan in Salt Lake City, Zion in NO. Not big markets. 

It's 3 guy's opinions. And under 25 brings in a lot of players. 

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1 hour ago, chipc3 said:

I believe a rather mediocre OKC team made the playoffs last year led by SGA. Just saying...

He did lead them in scoring by a hair you're right... but he also had Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, and Dennis Schroeder by his side.  Take them away and theyre at the bottom of the league this year.  It's very possible I am just ridiculously biased, but to me Ja did more with less.  

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1 hour ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

Well, this is the top 25 under 25 years of age so the "what have they ever done" could be a common theme amongst all of the players including Luka, Zion and LaMelo. Young comes in at #16 right behind Ja.

It's just a discussion topic. I am in no way agreeing or endorsing these rankings. It is interesting that we think we have such a great young team but only 1 player is on their radar and he dropped several slots from last year. Obviously, JJJ being injured isn't going to help his chances get on this list but it is disappointing not to see his name because it reminds me of what could be.

Can’t argue with Luka/Zion.  LaMelo might be way up there... who knows.  Peak LaMelo this year looked good.  If Trae is that (relatively) low too maybe he should be higher.  Jaren should probably be on the list even with his injuries.  How many flamethrower bigs are out there?  That’s a valued skill set — don’t actually see anyone like that in this upcoming draft.  Ironically, Evan Mobley is maybe the all-around defender/shot blocker/dunker/promising secondary jump shooter who can also rebound a bit archetypical player that we all thought 3J would be.  With Jaren’s current upside as hinge bomber and Battier-esque defender with some secondary weak side shot blocking also being the better archetype.  
 

I would think Clarke and Bane should be just outside the list.  Bane can really shoot the rock and score with any of the other youngsters.  Looks like he also has some grit, toughness, BBIQ and intangibles.  He might be the best Moneyball power 2 Guard in the league — and underrated (and less athletic/explosive) version of Anthony Edwards.  ... come to think of it — Melton checks of a lot of boxes as a blue chipper too.

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3 hours ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

ESPN Top 25 Young Stars Under 25. Unfortunately, not that many and not ranked that high

I think it's a fair list.  A healthy Jaren might have made it, and carried Ja onto the list with him. They could both make it next year. 

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21 minutes ago, TimBC said:

I think it's a fair list.  A healthy Jaren might have made it, and carried Ja onto the list with him. They could both make it next year. 

Agree. Schmitz had Ja #4 last year, as the post above states, so hard to claim any kind of bias. I would have Ja higher since the criteria is future potential, but opinions differ. 

And Ja is a turnstile on defense until the last few minutes of a close game, and his shooting has regressed. I hope he sees the list and uses it as motivation. 

Re Jaren, bottom line is we have now played 203 games since Jaren came to Memphis, and he has played in 115 of them. 

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Stephen A. went off on his own network's 25 under 25 list. He's got a point, it's recency bias. Ja shouldn't have been 4th last year, LaMelo shouldn't have been 3rd this year. Anyway, it's funny to watch.

 

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Assuming most players are coming out of college before turning 20, the top 25 under 25 would consist of players drafted in the last 5 years. Ja being 15th isn't bad. JJJ not being ranked is understandable but still bad. Bane and Clarke being of the list isn't surprising at all. I wouldn't put them in the top 5 of their drafts after all. 

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2 hours ago, The J Crew said:

I disagree. Shai in Ok City, Booker in Phoenix, LaMelo in Charlotte, Donavan in Salt Lake City, Zion in NO. Not big markets. 

It's 3 guy's opinions. And under 25 brings in a lot of players. 

Three of those players made the 2021 All-Star game rosters. Mitchell & Booker have played in two, and Mitchell was on the 2018 All-Rookie team and second in the Rookie of the Year voting. They do have good resumes.

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Without looking I guessed 3,; Ja, Jaren, and Brandon. But with 30 teams and only 25 spots that's probably not realistic to think we would have 3 of them.

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5 hours ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

Ja is the lone Grizz at #15

 

 

15 seems low to me, whoever did this ranking must be a royal dork.. 

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3 hours ago, The J Crew said:

I disagree. Shai in Ok City, Booker in Phoenix, LaMelo in Charlotte, Donavan in Salt Lake City, Zion in NO. Not big markets. 

It's 3 guy's opinions. And under 25 brings in a lot of players. 

Did you miss the part around raw numbers? The first criterion I mentioned? As in someone putting up big numbers on a worse team will get a bump in their view. That's clearly why Shai and Zion are up there.

As for markets, how is Simmons on any list like this? He hasn't improved a single aspect of his game at all since coming into the league. He is easy to stop in the playoffs because he can't shoot and sucks in the halfcourt. He does play for one of the bigger markets in the East, though. He might be the most overrated player in the game today.

How about Bam? As much as I love Bam's game, he's like a bigger Draymond with less range. It's not weird to see him on the list, but it is weird to see him so high since if he was the best player on your team, you're probably a lottery team. 

It's worth noting that there are more bad teams in small markets than big markets, and bad teams are more likely to have more young players, so it also makes sense that they are more represented. 

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2 hours ago, absolutegrizzguy said:

Led by *Chris Paul...

Yup.  Much as I've hated on Chris Paul all these years, I do respect his game.  He's leading perennial losers, Phoenix, to the playoffs this season.

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1 hour ago, smit-tay griz said:

Yup.  Much as I've hated on Chris Paul all these years, I do respect his game.  He's leading perennial losers, Phoenix, to the playoffs this season.

Jimmy and CP3 have proven to be able to lead slaw teams to playoff contention.   That is a rare feat.  Not many guys can claim that. 

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9 hours ago, chipc3 said:

Assuming most players are coming out of college before turning 20, the top 25 under 25 would consist of players drafted in the last 5 years. Ja being 15th isn't bad. JJJ not being ranked is understandable but still bad. Bane and Clarke being of the list isn't surprising at all. I wouldn't put them in the top 5 of their drafts after all. 

Especially since a top 25 list means less than 1 player per team.

 

Hopefully all this is just motivational for Ja and Jaren, and props to ESPN.com for getting people to discuss something out of news they created.

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