2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Murray State Ja Morant (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Murray State Ja Morant (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images) /

player. 66. . PG. Murray State. Ja Morant. 2

Age: 20
Height, Weight: 6-foot-3, 180 pounds
Slash Line: .499/.363/.813
Season Averages: 24.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 10.0 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 1.7 3PM

Like the New York Knicks and Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and the Phoenix Suns make too much sense to happen. It’s a match made in “the Suns need a point guard” heaven, given their history of players at this position since Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe left via trade.

Morant is an upgrade over the in-house options. 2018 second-round pick Elie Okobo has upside, but is a long-term developmental project and a new front office may want to search elsewhere. Devin Booker held this role at times, but he is best as the prototypical shooting guard.

The 2019 NCAA Tournament was Morant’s national breakout, soaring for a triple-double over Marquette. Murray State’s run ended in the second round at the hands of Florida State, but it was enough to put the sophomore guard on the map and solidify him as a top-five or top-three pick in the draft.

In this scenario, the Suns receive arguably this class’s most athletic player behind Williamson. Morant blazes down the court like Russell Westbrook, but has an improving outside game that can potentially become part of an all-around skill set. Defense included.

If not second overall, Morant makes sense for a number of teams in the top five, including the Knicks. They don’t have a guaranteed player at point guard for 2019-20.