With the ongoing Ben Simmons saga and more players expected to leave their current franchises, it seems like we're set to see a lot more movement around the league in the future.
Simmons looks like the next big name to change teams. Plus, other stars like the controversial Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, and Damian Lillard could continue their careers in different squads. One would imagine that these situations could replicate in the future, with young players leaving their teams after a couple of seasons.
When they're not in a big market, players often decide to look for better opportunities and demonstrate their intentions to leave whenever and however they can. It happened with Anthony Davis in 2019; and James Harden forced his way out of Houston last year, too. It does not seem like this trend will change.
However, some young stars want to play as long as possible with the squad that drafted them. LaMelo Ball recently claimed he has the same mentality as players from the 80s and 90s. He aspires to play for a long time with the Charlotte Hornets.
Moreover, Ja Morant said something similar, claiming he's not a fan of leaving and will try to compete with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The list of stars who have done what Simmons is attempting and what Lillard and Beal contemplated grows longer by the season; it includes James Harden and Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.
The reasons to force a trade are numerous. It can be about the direction of the current team, the legitimate chances to win, vibing with the front office, harmony with teammates … it is rarely (if ever) about money.
The Grizzlies have already checked a bunch of these boxes with Morant, and another is on the way next summer when they offer him an extension he’ll surely sign.
“Me, I’m not a big fan on the leaving,” Morant said. “As long as I’m here, I’m here; that’s my focus. Regardless, I’m going to make the best of any situation, continue to just go out with my teammates, win games, play in front of our fans and do whatever I can to continue to bring love.”
It's refreshing to see young players with this mentality. The Grizzlies have found a future superstar in Ja. Adding pieces around him such as Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson, this squad is ready to play for important things in the future.
With Ja as their cornerstone, Memphis can make a lot of noise in the league. Of course, landing other stars is always hard for small-market teams, but Morant is confident he can get the job done in Tennessee.