If the ’80s and ’90s were considered the golden era of NBA big men, with numerous centers dominating the league and displaying a vastly different playstyle than today, you can say the same thing for the current NBA and point guards. As the league has become so fast-paced and perimeter-oriented, guards have taken over the league, with basically every team revolving around their point guard.
It seems every team in the NBA, no matter how good or bad they are, still has a good point guard on their roster as that is undoubtedly the most elite position currently in the game. From savvy veterans that have been dominating for a while like Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard to the next generation with Luka Dončić, Trae Young, and Ja Morant, the list is endless.
To make a Top 5 or even Top 10 list amongst those names is a challenging task, as you need to prove yourself pretty immensely to get that kind of recognition. You definitely need confidence, but it seems the young Grizzlies prodigy Ja Morant has precisely that. In an interview with HoopsHype, Morant shared where he’s ranked amongst the top playmakers in the NBA and named a few guys alongside him in that company:
“Top 5…Steph (Curry). I’m a big Chris Paul fan. I’d say Dame (Lillard) and (Russell) Westbrook. It’s tough. The point guard position is so loaded. Some guys have to get left out.”Ja Morant, HoopsHype
Morant went with four established names in his Top 5 alongside himself, as that is a valid opinion. Along the way, Ja snubbed a lot of great players like Dončić, Trae and Kyrie that are most definitely currently better than Morant. But if you don’t bet on yourself, then who will? This just proves who good the point guard position is, as guys like De’aaron Fox, Jrue Holiday, Mike Conley, Lonzo Ball, D’Angelo Russell, Kyle Lowry, and a bunch of other great middle-of-the-pack guys are not even mentioned.
The 22-year old Morant showed in just two seasons that he will be a star in this league, as the unreal athleticism made him a fan favorite from day one. Last season Ja averaged 19.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 7.4 apg while leading his Grizzlies into the playoffs as an underdog in the play-in tournament. It was a huge success, but now Ja will have the pressure of taking a step forward and propelling the Grizzlies into a more dangerous and contending team.
It’s a long road ahead, but at 22 years old, Morant’s got nothing but time. Considering his long-term goals, the Grizzlies could have a gem in their hands:
“Multiple All-Stars. I want to be an MVP. Win championships. I want to be in that conversation when it’s all said and done to be considered with the greatest to ever play this game.”Ja Morant, HoopsHype
Those are some huge expectations and goals put on his back, but Ja has the mindset and potential to deliver on his words. Maybe he rushed himself into labeling himself a Top 5 point guard, especially in today’s NBA, but there is no debate that he will actually be on that level one day. Maybe even sooner than you think.