Southwest Notes: Morant, Brooks, Zion, Pelicans, Wright

Grizzlies star Ja Morant is being sued, according to TMZ Sports. The lawsuit was reportedly filed by a 17-year-old who was playing a pickup game at Morant’s home over the summer. The two got in a verbal altercation and the teenager threw the ball at Morant’s face, with Morant punching him in return.

The point guard admitted to striking the teenager, per TMZ, but said it was in self-defense after he’d been threatened. Police investigated the incident and referred the matter to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, which declined to press criminal charges, as Lucas Finton of The Memphis Commercial Appeal relays.

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Morant and the rest of the Grizzlies appreciate Dillon Brooks‘ contributions, even if some question his shot selection, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps (Insider link). “He’s the head of the snake on the defensive end for us,” Morant said. “Guards the best player, takes on that challenge every single day. Obviously when he’s out there, being Dillon, he gives us a lot of energy. And then once he goes to the offensive end and makes shots, it’s hard for teams to guard us.”
  • Expect the Pelicans to be very cautious with Zion Williamson‘s hamstring strain — they can be very tricky injuries and are prone to being aggravated if not fully healed, writes William Guillory of The Athletic. Williamson is officially out at least three weeks, but Guillory thinks it will be longer than that. He also expects Brandon Ingram to return to action pretty soon, though it’s hard to say exactly when — the forward has been dealing with a big toe sprain, but has been ramping up his practice activity.
  • Mavericks point guard McKinley Wright IV, who is on a two-way contract, has been getting some run lately with so many key rotation players injured. He’s grateful for the opportunity to play NBA minutes, as Eddie Sefko of writes. “It’s been a dream come true for me,” Wright said. “Everybody’s dream is to play in the NBA and I’ve been earning pretty valuable minutes to help contribute to our winning. Right now, that’s defending the ball, bringing energy off the bench and using my speed to get downcourt. I’m thankful to be in the position I am.” The former Colorado star has primarily played in the G League in his first two pro seasons.
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