Ja Morant isn't worried about the haters ahead of the NBA draft.

By Jenna West
June 19, 2019

Murray State guard Ja Morant isn't worried about the haters ahead of the NBA draft.

While asked how he feels about people who criticize his size or skills, Morant told reporters on Wednesday that he thrives when people doubt him.

"I really like the negative energy, the 'he hasn't played against nobody, he's too small, he can't shoot.' I love negative energy. It motivates me," he said. "It really doesn't bother me because my dad was my first hater, so if I can take it from him, I can take it from anybody."

The Grizzlies have the second pick in the draft and are expected to select Morant, who is the projected No. 2 prospect in this year's class. SI's draft expert Jeremy Woo calls Morant a "remarkably natural and instinctive playmaker" who shouldn't need to change his style to succeed in the NBA.

Morant rose to national prominence as the Racers advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament this spring. He became the first player in NCAA history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in a single season, dunking and dishing his way to Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year honors. Ahead of the draft, Morant has already signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

The 2019 NBA draft will be held on Thursday at Barclays Center at 7 p.m. ET.

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