How long is Ja Morant out? Potential return date, latest updates on Grizzlies star

By | March 7, 2023

The Grizzlies enter a crucial stretch of the season without their superstar guard.

Ja Morant, who is coming off his second All-Star appearance, will be away from the team for an indefinite amount of time. Without Morant, Memphis will try to maintain its hold on the Western Conference’s second seed.

How long will Morant be out? Here is what we know about the timeline of his potential return to the Grizzlies lineup.


Why is Ja Morant not playing?

On Saturday, March 4, the Grizzlies announced that Morant “will be away from the team for at least two games.”

The team statement came after Morant was seen displaying a gun on his Instagram Live at a nightclub early on the morning of Saturday, March 4. In response, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said the league is investigating the situation.

Morant issued a statement in which he took responsibility for his actions and offered an apology to the franchise, his family and the city of Memphis.

MORE: Jalen Rose sends heartfelt message to Ja Morant

How long will Ja Morant be out?

Morant’s absence is not technically a suspension and, per the team, will be for at least two games.

In Morant’s statement, he shared that he is “going to take some time away to get help and work on better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”

Based on the language in statements from the Grizzlies and Morant, his absence could be tied to days rather than games.

However, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the media ahead of their game against the Clippers Sunday night, indicating there is no clear timetable for Morant’s return.

“We have said that it’s going to be at least these two games,” Jenkins said. “I mean, this is going be an ongoing healing process. … It’s really not a timetable situation.”

And ahead of their game against the Lakers Tuesday night, Jenkins was asked why the Grizzlies hadn’t officially suspended Morant for his actions.

“We’re keeping those dialogues inside, how we’re framing all that stuff,” Jenkins explained. “That’s our internal business.”

He also reiterated that he would not put a timetable on Morant’s return, saying it was “disrespectful” to do so.

“It’s a healing process. If everyone expects something to change overnight, we’ve got to be due diligence and respectful on that,” Jenkins said. “We’re talking about Ja being in a better place… To put a timetable on it is disrespectful.”

Morant could also face legal repercussions as an out-of-state resident in possession of a firearm.

On Monday, March 6, police in Glendale, Colo., said they are investigating Morant’s actions. While Colorado is an open-carry state, there are exceptions, including the carrying of a firearm on federal property. It is also illegal to possess a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

Glendale, Colo. police dept confirms to ESPN “there is an investigation” into Ja Morant’s actions where he flashed what appeared to be a gun early Sat AM. Colorado is open carry but it is illegal in that state to possess a firearm while under the influence of alcohol

— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) March 6, 2023

As the season winds down, Memphis’ hold on the West’s No. 2 seed is dwindling. The Grizzlies are set to embark upon a tough stretch of games against teams that are also battling for positioning in the Western Conference.

Date Opponent Time (ET) National
March 7 at Lakers 10 p.m. TNT
March 9 vs. Warriors 7:30 p.m. TNT
March 11 vs. Mavericks 8 p.m.
March 13 at Mavericks 7:30 p.m. ESPN
March 15 at Heat 7:30 p.m.

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Ja Morant season stats, highlights

  • 27.1 points per game
  • 8.2 assists per game
  • 6.0 rebounds per game
  • 1.1 steals per game
  • 3.4 turnovers per game
  • 46.3 percent field goal shooting
  • 31.6 percent 3-point field goal shooting