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Ja Morant looks on before the start of the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
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Memphis Selects Morant, Guard Will Sit Out Summer League In SLC

Ja Morant looks on before the start of the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Memphis Grizzlies and the Utah Jazz have a strongly connected future for several reasons and the bond was strengthened with Memphis’ first pick in the NBA Draft.

With the second overall pick in the draft on Thursday, the Grizzlies selected Ja Morant, a highly-touted point guard from Murray State. Morant’s selection came one day after Memphis sent longtime point guard Mike Conley Jr. to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft and another future first round pick.

With the pick and trade, Memphis has sealed its backcourt plans for the near future and beyond and the Jazz have done likewise.

Many national pundits have praised Jazz management for the deal, calling the team potential contenders for the Western Conference title.

In his sophomore year at Murray State, Morant exploded onto the national scene after a fantastic season in which he scored 24.5points per game and had 10.0 assists per contest while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. He was a consensus All-American and led the Racers to the NCAA Tournament and guided them to a first round win over Marquette.

However, Morant told reporters after his selection at the draft that he would not be playing in any summer league competition in July. At the beginning of June, Morant underwent a minor surgery on his right knee. The procedure was successful, but Morant is going to be taking some time to recover this summer before his rookie season in the NBA begins.

The Salt Lake City Summer League featuring the Jazz, Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs will take place in the first week of July.

The Jazz hold just one pick in Thursday’s draft, the 53rd overall selection in the second round.