ESPN's Max Kellerman has picked Ja Morant over Jayson Tatum as the leader of a championship team following a couple of good performances from the Memphis Grizzlies' young star.
He led his team to the play-in tournament before beating the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, respectively, to land in the playoffs. His team also stole the first game of their series against the Utah Jazz, demonstrating they can make a lot of noise in the future.
Seeing how well Morant has performed, posting big numbers even in defeats, Kellerman has him over Tatum from now on.
“Everyone’s talking about Jayson Tatum. And I’ve said Jayson Tatum maybe one day can be the number one option, offensively, on a championship team. I think I would take Ja Morant over Jayson Tatum going forward.”
“Ja Morant is the next level of athlete. He has that Westbrook aggressiveness with explosive athleticism. He is looking for his teammates, he is looking to score.”
“Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, Jamal Murray and now Ja Morant and Luka Doncic, these young dudes like 22-years-old… They’re coming. They’re ready. Like they step up in their first playoff performance and it’s jaw-dropping. Ja Morant is joining that group right now.”
These comparisons will always be hateful. You can say this or that player is better than the other and fans will have something to say about it. Tatum and his Celtics are facing the Brooklyn Nets, which is anything but easy. He hasn't displayed his best game, while Morant is going against the 1st seed in the Western Conference, surprising them and beating them with the Grizzlies.
It's still early to say which player will have a better career here, but it's clear that Kellerman has a favorite.