NBA News Roundup, Thursday, May 16th: Golden State star wants to extend to stay, Grizzlies to draft Ja Morant and more
With the NBA Finals now upon us, the playoffs are currently the talk of the basketball world, although there is no shortage of other stories emerging from around the league.
The 2019 draft is just weeks away, and teams will be hoping to strike gold by drafting either Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis continues to be linked with a blockbuster trade, and a host of stars including Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Kemba Walker are about to hit free agency.
So, with plenty going on around the NBA, here are the biggest news stories and rumors you need to know for May 16th.
Grizzlies set to draft Ja Morant; R.J. Barrett could head to New York
The 2019 NBA draft is still more than a month away, although Tuesday's lottery revealed the order of the draft. The Memphis Grizzlies landed the number two spot, followed by the Knicks taking the third, and ESPN's Jonathan Givony is reporting that both teams already have firm plans as to who they will draft:
The Memphis Grizzlies have told interested parties in Chicago, where the NBA draft combine is underway, that they intend to select Murray State guard Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick next month Morant is expected to usher in a new era at point guard for the Grizzlies
Should the Grizzlies proceed with drafting Morant as expected, the road will be cleared for Duke's RJ Barrett - the presumptive No. 1 pick in the draft entering the season -- to land in New York with the Knicks, who pick third.
Morant led the NCAA in assists during his sophomore season, and he also led Murray State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, Barrett averaged 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as he formed part of Duke's much-touted team.