Ja Morant's season-ending shoulder surgery affects Memphis and the NBA trade deadline.

The announcement on Monday that Memphis Grizzlies phenom Ja Morant would have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder caps off a tumultuous stretch for one of the NBA's brightest rising stars.

The 24-year-old began the 2023-24 season serving a 25-game NBA suspension for flashing a pistol on social media. (Morant had an eight-game NBA suspension last season for a similar infraction.)

Morant returned to the Grizzlies on December 19, joining a 6-19 team that was already without center Steven Adams (knee) and Brandon Clarke (Achilles). 

Morant energized the club right away, helping Memphis to six wins in nine games while averaging 25.1 points and 8.1 assists.

The injury essentially means Morant will be unable to complete what was already going to be a difficult task this season: 

leading the Grizzlies out of a deep hole, which he helped create, and into the postseason or play-in tournament.

Such an accomplishment would have helped Morant restore himself as one of the NBA's future faces, a position that will become even more prominent as LeBron James and Stephen Curry retire in the coming years.

Morant's absence not only eliminates a potential heroic effort to boost a struggling and short-handed squad,

but also ensures that Memphis will end up in the lottery after finishing as the Western Conference's No. 2 seed for two straight seasons.

In all, the injury all but guarantees this will be a lost season for Morant and the Grizzlies, with a reach that could expand beyond Memphis, influencing the weeks leading to the NBA's Feb. 8 trade deadline and free agency this summer. 

Love Horoscope For February 1, 2024 Brings Change

For More WebStories