While Ja Morant has remained in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons over the last few weeks, it's no secret that he's part of the next generation of NBA superstars. It's that very reason that makes many hopeful that Morant will keep himself out of trouble off the court.
In the wake of his recent suspension from the Memphis Grizzlies, which led to a suspension from the NBA, current and former players weighed in. Players like Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes have continued to hold out hope that Morant tightens up his circle.
In addition, Patrick Beverley lauded Morant as the face of the future for the NBA, citing his kids mimicking Morant during their games. While Nike hasn't shown that they're looking to part ways with Ja Morant amid his scandals, the implications if Morant continues to get in trouble could be massive.
During a recent video, analyst Brian Windhorst spoke about Morant's star power, saying:
"How many of the great 25 and under stars in this league are Americans? The guys that are winning the MVPs and some of the great young players are European. The guy coming in, the new face (Wembanyama) is French. Ja has a tremendous opportunity, a tremendous lane here not only to be successful as a player, ...
"But he's got a chance to be the American face of the NBA, which can make him a ton of money, and be very relevant for a long time. I think if you look at the statement the league put out today, they referenced that, they referenced his value to the league."
You can hear his comments in the video above.
What have other NBA players said about Ja Morant?
With Ja Morant's eight-game suspension from the NBA winding down, he will be eligible to return for Monday's showdown against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite that, head coach Taylor Jenkins has made it clear that after two weeks off, the team won't throw Morant back into things right off the bat.
Throughout the course of his suspension, current and former players have both continued to express their desire for Morant to do better. While it's no secret that nobody can control who the young superstar spends his time with, there's hope he can tighten his circle.
Last month, Barnes offered some advice to Morant on Rachel Nichols' What's Burnin? Podcast, saying:
"I'd tell him to distance himself from anybody who doesn't have his same vision or the same purpose. The same people don't feel the same way about him losing everything. 'You have to care about these things because I care about them. You have to care about it because you don't want me to lose everything I worked for.'"
At the same time, the Memphis Grizzlies want to make sure that Morant doesn't fall back into old habits. In addition to the team announcing that they wouldn't be spending the night when playing on the road, the team will continue to work with Morant.