However, it sounds like the Grizzlies won’t be without Morant for much longer. The 23-year-old reportedly could return to the lineup on Wednesday when Memphis hosts the Houston Rockets.
“I’m told he could return to the lineup as soon as Wednesday at home against the Rockets”@ShamsCharania with the latest on Ja Morant’s return from his 8-game suspension#RunItBack #BigMemphis pic.twitter.com/YNflRSG3qV
— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) March 20, 2023
It’s been a difficult stretch for Morant, who has made headlines for negative reasons due to his conduct off the floor. In the case of his suspension, he was punished for “conduct detrimental to the league” after he flashed a gun while streaming on Instagram Live.
During his time away from the team, Morant entered a counseling program to help his mental health, and the hope is that he’ll now be able to focus on his extremely bright future in the NBA while prioritizing things that truly matter off the court.
Morant’s return to the floor will once again make the Grizzlies a key team to watch in the Western Conference. The squad is currently battling with the Sacramento Kings for the No. 2 seed in the West. Memphis is looking to build some momentum heading into the playoffs before possibly making a run.
It’s no secret how important Morant is to the team’s ultimate goal of challenging for a title. In 53 games this season, he’s averaged 27.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game on 46.3 percent shooting.
If he returns to action on Wednesday, that will give him 11 games over the remainder of the regular season to get into playoff shape. If he isn’t ready by Wednesday, he’ll have another chance to face the Rockets when the two teams meet again on Friday.
There was a time when it was uncertain whether Morant would play again this season. That’s clearly no longer a concern.
The former Rookie of the Year, who’s been named to two All-Star teams and one All-NBA squad, will look to help the Grizzlies make some noise in the upcoming playoffs after they fizzled out in the second round last season at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.