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Top 25 NBA Players 2023-24: No. 21 Ja Morant

Apr 26, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers during game five of the 2023 NBA playoffs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our ongoing player rankings, today we analyze Ja Morant. He is a player whose talent is undeniable, yet constant controversies have raised questions about the young star. This is a prove-it year for Morant. He must avoid off-court issues while continuing to play at an elite level.

Top 25 NBA Players 2023-24: No. 21 Ja Morant

A Special and Talented Athlete

Watching Morant play is an experience like no other. He is a superb, lightning-quick athlete and one of the best young players in the league. Morant combines his elite athleticism with great playmaking and a high IQ. This combination of elite finishing and playmaking skills is extremely rare.

This skill set comes together to create one of the most exhilarating watching experiences and one of the most productive players in the league. While Morant’s subpar defense can sometimes be frustrating, his elite offense more than makes up for it. The Grizzlies’ roster also has great defenders that fit around Morant perfectly.

Season Recap

Morant is coming off a tumultuous 2022-23 season. While on the court, Morant continued his star level of play and led the Grizzlies to their second straight second-seed finish in the West. However, last season will always be marred by controversy for Morant. In March, he was on Instagram Live and flashed a gun at a nightclub.

The incident resulted in an eight-game suspension and a rehab session for Morant, but he returned for the playoffs. After the incident, many people turned on Morant. The once universally beloved young star quickly evolved into one of the most controversial players in the league. Morant is on a star trajectory and one of the most talented players in the league. However, his off-court antics must end so he can reach his full potential and not become another young star who eventually fades away.

Season Outlook

Morant’s career is at a crossroads, and this season will strongly impact his direction. After flashing a gun on Instagram Live for a second time in May, Morant was suspended 25 games to start this upcoming season. The Grizzlies still project to be a competitive team without Morant. Memphis has posted just above a .500 record in games without him over the past two seasons, and they still have one of the best defenses in the league.

The addition of Marcus Smart gives Memphis much-needed backcourt support, and he is the perfect veteran next to Morant when he returns. The Grizzlies have been a successful regular-season team. But their lack of experience has prevented them from being a serious contender. With a more developed roster and possible avenues to improve, the Grizzlies could be poised to enter the inner circle of NBA contenders. For Morant, leading this team to contention, combined with possible improvements on the defensive end, would elevate his spot on the list.

The Last Word on Ja Morant

Morant is one of the most difficult players to evaluate in the league. He is a high-level talent and flirted with a top-10 ranking before the controversies. If Morant can prove himself and continue playing at an elite level, he could reclaim that spot. However, if Morant can’t stay out of trouble, he could slip off the list entirely, and we could be witnessing one of the saddest declines of a young star of all time.

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