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Adrian Wojnarowski Explains Why 17 Game Suspension 'Makes Sense' For Ja Morant

Home / Sports / Adrian Wojnarowski Explains Why 17 Game Suspension 'Makes Sense' For Ja Morant

By Melanie VanDerveer on June 4, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT

Anyone following Ja Morant's troublesome situation expects that the Memphis Grizzlies player will face some harsh consequences for his actions.

And while some are thinking about maybe a half a year suspension or an entire season, ESPN Senior NBA Leading Insider Adrian Wojnarowski has a different view.

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Adrian Wojnarowski Shared His Thought On Ja Morant's Possible Suspension Length

Ja Morant
Malika Andrews ESPN - YouTube

While speaking with sports journalist Malika Andrews on ESPN, Wojnarowski gave his thoughts on what Morant, 23, could face once NBA Commissioner Adam Silver releases the findings of the league's investigation.

Wojnarowski said Silver was "very intentional in his words" when addressing the situation with the press before Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals.

"I think, when you start to look at possible lengths of suspension, and that's what we're talking about, he's going to be suspended," he said.

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"I think an interesting number to look at is 17 because now the NBA, at its disposal, has a new rule that a player has to play 65 games in the regular season to be eligible for postseason awards. And so, for Ja Morant, 17 games off the top immediately, or 18 games would make him ineligible for postseason awards."

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He also said that most people believe no one will be able to say that Silver went "too lightly" this time around with the punishment.

"Wherever that number lands, I think it's going to be certainly a significant part of the Grizzlies season, of Ja Morant's season, and listen, it cost them, I think, ultimately last year as a team, it cost him, very likely All-NBA," he said.

"There's just not a lot of empathy around the NBA, and I think there's even pressure from some teams to deal fairly harshly with Ja Morant."

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Adrian Wojnarowski Spoke About Ja Morant's Second Instagram Live Incident Shortly After It Happened

Adrian Wojnarowski talking about Ja Morant
Get Up ESPN - Twitter

Shortly after Morant's second Instagram Live gun incident occurred in mid-May, Wojnarowski discussed why Morant's trouble isn't just his trouble but also trouble on a League level.

"If what appears to be a gun in that video and the League finds out that this is not a doctored video, this is not some sort of enhancement. You have to say that first because we're assuming we know what it appeared to be with our eyes, but if that is indeed a gun in his hand, he's facing a significant suspension to start next season," Wojnarowski said on "Get Up" on ESPN.

Ja Morant
Ja Morant - Instagram
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"I think the feeling all around the League, I think with the Grizzlies, with the League office, with other teams, Adam Silver, there was some leniency in that eight-game suspension with Ja Morant, that he met with him in the League office, he took Ja Morant at his word that he was contrite, that he understood that his behavior had to change."

He also pointed out that this incident isn't the first trouble for the Grizzlies star, as there has been a "pattern of alarming behavior" with Morant. And while Silver may have let him off slightly easy the first time, it won't be the same this time.

Ja Morant
Memphis Grizzlies - Instagram
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"I think Ja Morant is facing a lengthy, significant suspension to start next season if, indeed, that was a firearm in his hand in that video," he said.

"I think there's going to be some pressure, I think, even from some other teams around the NBA, that this isn't just harmful to the Memphis Grizzlies and their organization, but this is harmful on a League level, and I don't think Adam Silver is going to take this lightly."

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