MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ja Morant has once again been suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies following another social media video in which he can be seen wielding a firearm, prompting speculation around the young guard’s future in the NBA and if it will be in Memphis.
In a Tuesday episode of the Locked On Grizzlies podcast, host Joe Mullinax explained the delicate balance the Grizzlies face with Morant and why the timing is not right to trade him -- yet.
“He is a franchise cornerstone-caliber type player,” Mullinax explained. “He is explosive, he was having one of his best passing seasons as an NBA player … absolutely one of the best young players in the National Basketball Association.”
Still, Morant disrupted a season in which Memphis rose to the second seed in the Western Conference and had a real chance to make a deep postseason run by leaving the team midseason to deal with what he has characterized as mental health issues.
Morant is only 23, but will begin his more expensive second contract this upcoming season and has been unable to significantly expand his skill set as he has dealt with injuries and off-court distractions in recent seasons. While Morant may one day be a trade candidate for the Grizzlies, Mullinax argued that time is not now.
“He is not a tradeable piece right now,” Mullinax continued. “That’s not to say he won’t ever be a tradeable piece. … Maybe there is a price for Ja Morant. Maybe it exists.
“But you’re not getting that package from anyone in the NBA right now because they are going to lowball you at every chance they get.”
Parting with a former All-NBA guard like Morant would not be easy, and the package would have to be so big as to be nearly impossible.
“I wouldn’t trade Ja Morant for most players in the NBA,” Mullinax said. “The list is relatively short, three to five guys, that I would trade Ja Morant for in the NBA right now.”