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Forum nameOkay Sports
Topic subjectElite, multi-ASG type prospect with some mid-major caveats.
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=8&topic_id=2697432&mesg_id=2697806
2697806, Elite, multi-ASG type prospect with some mid-major caveats.
Posted by Frank Longo, Mon Jun-03-19 12:51 PM
I watched him a lot last year, and it's insane to project his game like this, as it's unfair to the kid, but he really is like you took Russell Westbrook's game and gave it Trae Young's passing. I mean, that's a fucking BONKERS thing to say, but it's true. High motor, incredible speed/athleticism, god-level vision, okay enough shooter (not great but a better shooter than Russy tbh). Everything's there for a stud.

That said, the mid-major competition *should* be a concern imo. The biggest reason why his comparisons are all so superlative is because he beasted against shitty comp. Not to say he can't be a Damian Lillard, and not to say he'll dip on the court as hard as, say, Cameron Payne-- I think his floor is a good starter/playmaker on a good team. Because, again, you can't teach vision like Morant's. But Morant committed a *lot* of turnovers. Now normally I'd say "he's young, he'll learn"-- but if your TO rate is that high against the OVC?

Also, I think his strength is the #1 reason the Westbrook comparisons are goofy today, because Morant was driving into the paint and flexing over string-bean and/or slow-poke OVC bigs. The second he hits the grown man strength that NBA paint defenders will provide, he'll be in some trouble-- so his mid-range game/floater game/3-point game *have* to improve.

I think that FSU tournament game is going to give some people some serious false expectations about his 3-point shooting-- he was WET that game like he's literally never been in his career, and a big reason why he was shooting as much as he was was because he didn't want to run into FSU's grown man strength. So he needs a good 15-25 pounds of muscle, cuz right now I'm pretty sure he's 170ish. But then again, he's got roughly the same build as De'Aaron Fox, and he's killing it already at age 21. So maybe that shouldn't be as big a concern as I'm making it out to be. Lillard and Curry rose from the mid-major ranks because they were super-wet shooters. PGs who get drafted from mid-majors who can't shoot-- Payne and Elfrid Payton come to mind-- tend to struggle a bit more. Morant's better than both of those guys... but again, it's worth noting.

If he gets that strength going and diversifies his shooting game some? Yeah, you've got a multi-year ASG type of guy-- in a draft class without much PG talent, so that's a major score and a big reason to take him over some guys with safer floors below him. Worst case scenario, you get a terrific playmaker, which, at #2 for a team balls deep in a rebuild, isn't a bad thing at all.