by Alex Poletti
With the NBA draft under two months away, The Second String brings a new series where our team of analysts dissects every aspect of a prospect’s game to see if they are really worth a top ten lottery pick. Here’s our pick for number two:
After leading Murray State past 5-seed Marquette in the first round of March Madness, point guard Ja Morant put his name on the radar. The All-American has the tools to succeed at the next level, having led the NCAA in assists this past season. It has been rumored that the Phoenix Suns prefer him over Zion Williamson if they get the first overall pick.
Although Morant has impressed with his stats on the court, scoring over 20 points per game while averaging over 10 assists, what really bumps his draft stock is his intangibilities: the sophomore is known for his ability to hype up teammates and get all players on the court involved.
Although his undisputed star power may seem like an asset for many teams, our analysts find it risky, as his arrival in the NBA just so happens to coincide with casting for “Space Jam 2” starring LeBron James.
“Despite his high basketball IQ, we find it very probable that Ja Morant sees the NBA as means to an end,” lead analyst for The Second String Gabe Radtke says. “The end game is ‘Space Jam 2.’ If he has to go through the NBA to get there, so be it.”
“Space Jam 2” is set for theatrical release in 2021, which means that whichever team drafts him will get two quality years out of Morant before his film debut. The two years will probably be stellar, but it’s all question marks from there on out.
Morant going to the NBA is similar to LeBron signing with the Lakers, with many speculating LeBron signed with the team to be in LA so his film career could take off after starring in the Amy Schumer hit comedy “Trainwreck.”
Drafting the Murray State alum does seem like a gamble, but there’s one thing on the table that could make it worthwhile: “Space Jam 3.”
Do we really think Morant will land a minor role alongside Lonzo Ball in “Space Jam 2” and call it quits? No. The Second String analysts confirm that Morant will likely perform at the highest caliber in order to get top billing in a third installment of the basketball-Looney Toons series 10 or 20 years down the line.
His dedication, although it may not be to basketball, will undeniably keep Morant performing at a high level. Whatever he can do to get his name on that “Space Jam 3” marquee, he will do, even if it means suffering through a multi-million dollar career in the National Basketball Association. With this in mind, Morant is well worth the second overall pick in the NBA draft.