Ja Morant is eligible to return to the Memphis Grizzlies for Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks after serving an eight-game suspension. Since Monday will be his first day in the team facilities, it has always been unlikely that he’ll play on that day.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins confirmed that Morant will need a ramp-up period before returning to game action.
“It’s a good chance he’s probably out for the Monday game because it’s going to be his first day back with the team,” Jenkins said. “Our anticipation is he’s at least out Monday, and then we’ll cross the bridge for Wednesday as we get a little bit closer.”
The Grizzlies (42-27) will play home games against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and Friday. Morant is likely to return to game action in one of those matchups, but the Grizzlies haven’t made that decision yet.
Tyus Jones has started 16 games in Morant’s absence this season. Memphis is 8-8 when Jones starts.
Morant is averaging 27.1 points and 8.2 assists per game in his fourth season. He leads the Grizzlies in minutes per game, so Memphis will also monitor his usage when he returns.
“From a basketball standpoint, we know this guy and how he is wired,” Jenkins said. “I know he’s putting in work, staying ready, and he’s going to be chomping at the bit to get out there with his teammates on Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll see what Wednesday holds.”
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