The amount of talent at point guard in the NBA right now is unprecedented. It seems like every team has a borderline All-Star bringing the ball up the court. Just think about it. How many guys in the league right now have earned an All-Star nod at the position? Eighteen. And that doesn’t include strong players like Jamal Murray, Collin Sexton, Tyler Herro, Tyrese Haliburton, Lonzo Ball, Marcus Smart, and De’Aaron Fox. So, when Memphis Grizzlies point guard, Ja Morant, claimed he was a top-5 point guard in the league on NBA on TNT, it was met with skepticism.
Just take a look at that comments section. Nobody agrees with him, but yeah, they’re definitely right. According to oddshark.com, there are currently five point guards with top-10 odds to win the 2021 MVP: Curry, Lillard, Dončić, Paul, and Irving. I doubt anyone in their right mind would put Morant above any of those guys. Then you have your borderline elite point guards. That includes guys like Simmons, Murray, Westbrook, Young, Mitchell, and Lowry. This early into Morant’s career, it’s difficult to put him above any of them. I still haven’t named John Wall, D’Angelo Russell, D-Rose, or Jrue Holiday, each of whom could have an argument for being a better point guard than Morant this year.
Does Morant have top-5 potential? Absolutely. If he can lead his Grizzlies into the playoffs, dominate the play-in bracket, and even steal two games from Memphis’s first round opponent, then maybe he’d have an argument for top-10 status. As of right now though, it’s difficult to put someone whose only playoff experience is a play-in game against Portland up there with the best of the best, even if he did put up 35 points in that game.
All that being said, Morant should not be ridiculed at all for believing he is a top-5 player. Obviously, confidence is a major contributor to an athlete’s ability. Numerous publications have already pointed this out. Confidence keeps you motivated and focused and allows you to keep moving forward, even when you’re not performing as best you can. I dare you to find a single player in the NBA who doesn’t think of themselves as one of the best at their position. Hell, I dare you to find one player across any professional sports league who doesn’t think highly of their own abilities.
Morant has proven his doubters wrong at every turn in his career. He was a zero star recruit out of high school and received only one scholarship offer from a Power 5 school. All he did, after being glanced over like the Terms of Service agreement after every iOS update, was lead Murray State to two NCAA Tournaments, accrue more assists in 2019 than any college ball player had done in a single season since Avery Johnson in 1988, and win the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. After all he’s been through, he’s earned the right to talk himself up and walk with a little more swagger than you or I. And who knows? If he keeps his confidence up, maybe one day, not so far away, he won’t be wrong when he calls himself a top-5 player.