Grizzlies’ Ja Morant says winning MVP is his individual goal

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Grizzlies guard Ja Morant doubtful to play vs. Heat

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant wants to win an NBA championship, but his main individual goal is winning the MVP award. The 23-year-old received his first All-Star selection last season.

During a segment on NBA Today with Malika Andrews, the guard discussed his own personal goal for the 2022-23 season. “MVP for sure,” explained Morant.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Grizzlies possess the 12th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Numerous sportsbooks are expecting them to return to the playoffs this season.

“I’m not a big individual goal guy, but that’s one — you know — I can say that it’s pretty much everybody’s goal in this league,” continued Morant.

“I feel like it starts with winning. Secondly, being available, being out there on the floor. You know, not missing games.”

“I feel that’s the top two things for me. As long as I’m doing those two things, I’m definitely in that category to win MVP.”

Grizzlies guard Ja Morant says winning MVP is his own personal goal for the 2022-23 season

In 57 starts of the 2021-22 season, the Murray State product averaged career highs of 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Also, he shot 49.3% from the field and 34.4% from beyond the arc.

On February 28, 2022, in the Grizzlies’ 118-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs, Morant scored a career-high 52 points in 35 minutes of action. He finished 22-of-30 (73.3%) shooting from the floor and a flawless 4-of-4 (100%) from downtown.

However, Morant missed several games last season after tweaking his right knee against the Atlanta Hawks. Like he told Andrews, one of the most crucial elements to winning the MVP award is staying healthy.

After posting career-best numbers, Morant won NBA Most Improved Player and was selected to the All-NBA Second Team. Per Basketball-Reference statistics, the Grizzlies guard is projected to average 26.2 points and 5.6 boards this season.

During the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors, the South Carolina native logged a playoff career-high 47 points in 41 minutes played of Game 2. He ended his performance with 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals as well.

Ja Morant joined Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the only players in league history to record multiple 45-point games in the playoffs before turning 23 years old.

While receiving an All-NBA honor is meaningful, the guard believes he’s more than capable of adding an MVP award to his basketball résumé. The 2022-23 season should be exciting for Grizzlies fans.

In July, Morant signed a five-year, $194.3 million designated rookie contract extension with his team. If he receives an All-NBA honor, the guard’s deal will increase to as much as $231 million.

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