Memphis Grizzlies rookie point guard Ja Morant revealed he played with a fractured thumb during his team’s final four games in the Walt Disney World resort near Orlando, Florida, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
The Grizzlies’ season ended Saturday with a 126-122 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA’s play-in tournament for the eighth Western Conference playoff spot. Morant posted 35 points and eight assists.
The 21-year-old has been as good as advertised since he was selected No. 2 overall in the 2019 NBA draft, averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from three entering Saturday. He put himself firmly in the Rookie of the Year conversation and will likely take home the award.
He’s certainly provided his fair share of highlights:
He almost ended Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love’s career:
Alongside second-year big man Jaren Jackson Jr., Morant is a centerpiece of the team’s rebuilding efforts. The future is bright in Memphis, which has to be thrilled with the inside-outside combination it added in the past two drafts.