3 Players With Best Chance To Make First All-Star Appearance This Season

Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies, NBA, Zach LaVine
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant  – Memphis Grizzlies

After winning Rookie of the Year during the 2019-20 season, Ja Morant followed up his first season in the league with more scoring, better passing decisions and he ultimately took the Grizzlies to the postseason for the first time since 2017. While they lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz, Morant helped the Grizzlies steal Game 1 on the road in the toughest place to play in the NBA. 

Not to mention, Ja Morant finished this series against Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz averaging 30.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and shooting 48.7% from the floor in his first-ever postseason series. The jump Ja Morant made from Year 1 to Year 2 was very impressive and now, there is no doubt that he could be even better in Year 3. 

Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies’ front office have been very active this offseason and they have been trying to move some pieces around to ensure long-term success for this franchise.

Jonas Valanciunas is gone and was replaced with Steven Adams, but the biggest difference entering the season this year for Morant and Memphis is the fact that Jaren Jackson Jr. is healthy. 

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Not only can Jackson Jr. make Ja Morant a better overall player, but him being healthy allows the Grizzlies to possibly improve from being the 8-seed in the Western Conference last year. Out of all the teams in the league, Memphis may actually be in the best spot as a young and strong team with long-term potential for success. 

Averaging over 20-plus points and getting 8.5-plus assists per game this season is not out of question for the young point guard and if he is putting up these numbers early on in the season, it will be hard to not name him an All-Star.

He came up just short of making the All-Star game last year, ranking 6th in total voting for guards in the Western Conference, and this offseason, Ja Morant leads all players in the league in fast-break points per game (7.7) and second in points in the paint per game (13.3). 

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The future is extremely bright for Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies and the 2021-22 season has a chance to finally be the year they take a massive step in the right direction to becoming a formidable force in the Western Conference. 

About Brett Siegel 1194 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as a credentialed NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with FanSided covering the Golden State Warriors and Louisville Basketball. For all up-to-date NBA news, stats and info, and any inquiries, be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.

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