Southwest Notes: Morant, Zion, Valanciunas

Ja Morant met with the Grizzlies over the weekend, as Shams Charania of The Athletic passes along (Twitter link). Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian confirms that the meeting took place and hears that the point guard remains the favorite to be selected with the No. 2 overall pick.

Morant recently underwent surgery on his right knee in a procedure that was deemed preventative. The health of Morant doesn’t appear to be an issue for Memphis, though it’s not certain if the team has seen the 19-year-old’s medical records.

Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Zion Williamson met with the Pelicans earlier this week, Charania tweets. The Duke star is still expected to go No. 1 overall.
  • Veteran center Jonas Valanciunas has a decision to make on his $17.6MM player option and David Cobb of The Commerical Appeal contends that it may be beneficial for both sides if Valanciunas elects to play out the year under that deal. The 27-year-old may not make that kind of annual salary with a new deal and the Grizzlies would have an opportunity to see if he can be a long-term fit with the club.
  • Austin Rivers recently went on ESPN and spoke about the “frustrating” Rockets offense, as Ameer Tyree of Sporting News relays. Rivers said playing alongside James Harden‘s ball dominant game was difficult at times. “I think it works. We just have to mix it up. I think we have to a better job of mixing it up just a little bit,” the guard said.
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9 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Morant, Zion, Valanciunas

  1. Austin Rivers shouldn’t worry about it. I can’t imagine they intend to bring him back, unless it’s for minimum. Had his moments, but his slash line over any period doesn’t change much. If he’s the only alternative on the wing, then Harden’s iso game can’t really be questioned.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Rivers isn’t great, but he’s a solid bench scorer who a lot of teams would love to have. He’ll have lots of options if he’s willing to play for the veteran’s minimum, including a few contenders. If he’s holding out for the taxpayer mid level, he’s going to have to take what he’s offered.

      But the guy is a solid bench scoring guard. A lot of teams would view him as an upgrade. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he got a 3yr, $25 million dollar deal with a team option.

      • I’d be surprised. Solidly inefficient scorer. 40%/31%/52%. Stats sometimes lie, but they don’t commit fraud. He might have the lowest PER in the game for a guy seeing his minutes.

  2. hoosierhysteria

    Bye bye Austin. Big mouth…average game. Maybe he wants out of rocketology.

  3. Skip, Tampa

    River’s actually has a fair point for a fair to good player. Breath easy, no way he returns to the Rockets. Who knows he might even work out as solid bench player on a true Championship team.

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