Often, one of the most coveted assets in the NBA is the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. Teams tank to get a better opportunity to have the right to select first overall and bring in the generational talent that can make a franchise relevant for decades and give them multiple chances at building a team capable of winning a championship.
However, it's not always the first pic that brings the player franchises need, sometimes it's the pick after. Never has that been more true than in the case of Kevin Durant, who was picked 2nd but became one of the greatest scorers the league has ever seen. And Stephen A. Smith has noticed the same thing about Ja Morant, who is having an MVP level season in just his 3rd year with the Memphis Grizzlies.
"You know who you can call Ja Morant right now, ladies and gentlemen? You can call him Kevin Durant. Why would I bring up Kevin Durant? Like Kevin Durant, Ja Morant was the No. 2 overall pick. Like Kevin Durant, he's going to be the guy that we're talking about.
"Greg Oden went down obviously, with his knee injuries, you know, and that just negated his career. He was the No. 1 overall pick, Kevin Durant was No. 2. Well Zion Williamson, No. 1 overall pick. Who's 2? Ja Morant... We know how great Zion Williamson is when he's on the court, but he hasn't been on the court, Ja Morant has.
"And as The No. 2 overall pick who had a No. 1 overall pick that was perpetually injured, Ja Morant and Kevin Durant's careers are actually mirroring one another to this point in Ja Morant's career because of where they were drafted, who was drafted ahead of them and what they're doing on the court. And that's why I said, when I think of Ja Morant, I also think of Kevin Durant."
Morant has several serious admirers across the league, including Allen Iverson who thinks Ja is on his way to an MVP soon, but comparisons with Durant are still a very huge compliment for the youngster. Considering that Ja is averaging over 27 points a game this season though, it's not very far away, and if he can achieve just some of the things that KD has before he retires, it will have been a stellar career for Morant.