Sometimes it’s the known quantities that are actually the most perplexing of all. That might be the case for teams enamored with the talented twins from KU: Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris. Teams picking amidst the lottery in the 2011 NBA Draft have a bevy of options, from international players with unknown potential to seasoned college veterans with plenty of tape to state their case. The Morris twins fit among the latter.
The reason this can be frustrating is because a team never wants to miss out on the home run selection — and they come with every draft. No matter the number of scouts a team has or how closely a players workouts are watched, every year brings a surprising star who rises from the ranks of the late first or even second round to become a good to great NBA player. As teams swing for the fences with selections like these, it can be players like the Morris brothers from Kansas that fall a slot or three farther down the draft board in the process.
As Marcus and Markieff attempt to improve their draft status, it’s only frustrating since much of the work is out of their hands. Of course, their agents and parents (and any other handlers) are telling them to be at their best. Yet much of their draft stock is determined by how much teams fall in love with the question marks that surround them. In other words, Markieff Morris might be drafted higher simply because teams didn’t like some international guys enough to risk a pick. So they’ll finally take the safe bet on a proven commodity.
That’s probably why both Markieff and Marcus Morris will be taken either by a team with multiple picks, so that the team can take a chance with one and a more secure pick with the other, or a bit later in the first round to a team that simply needs a good rotational player to plug in as a fringe starter or solid bench role. The teams choosing early in the draft need to hit a home run and it’s clear at this point that while both Morris brothers are solid players, neither one is predicted to become a franchise player. Thus is the curse of simply being good.