Ja Morant was able to practice with teammates just a day after it was announced that he would be allowed to travel with the team while he sits out of preseason contests and games taking place more or less over the first quarter of the regular season.
The NBA suspended Morant for 25 games without pay in June for brandishing a handgun in a viral video for the second time, but is allowing him to shoot around and work out with other players on the Grizzlies while he waits to come back into the fold for his team.
The 24-year-old is eligible to return on December 19, when the Grizzlies play the New Orleans Pelicans.
‘He’s gonna be around us full-time,’ Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said on Media Day.
‘It’s a unique circumstance that we’re going to have to navigate,’ Jenkins added.
Ja Morant at Grizzlies practice: pic.twitter.com/z4mJZMA340
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 3, 2023
Ja Morant was spotted practicing for the first time since being handed his suspension
The Memphis Grizzlies guard was suspended by the NBA for 25 games for flashing a firearm
But the 24-year-old is still able to practice and travel with the team – pictured on media day
‘I think everyone understands it and is going to be better prepared going into the season knowing he is training his tail off still fully integrated with the team, and our group is going to be handling their business as we’ve always done.’
Based on his $33.5 million salary for 2023-24, the suspension will cost Morant approximately $10.2M.
The video, which was on Instagram Live, featured Morant waving a gun while sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car while listening to rap music.
The clip was released on May 13, and the Grizzlies suspended the guard from all team activities the following day.
It was the second time in three months that Morant was caught with a firearm on social media.
He previously was suspended eight games and sought counseling after a March 4 incident in which he filmed himself holding a gun at a Denver strip club following a 113-97 loss to the Nuggets.
Morant, 24, is heading into his fifth season with Memphis after the Grizzlies selected him with the second overall pick in the 2019 draft.
A two-time All-Star, Morant averaged 26.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 8.1 assists in 61 games (59 starts) in 2022-23.
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