So far, the Phoenix Suns have to be pleased with what they’ve seen out of their first round investment in Markieff Morris, the former basketball star of the Kansas Jayhawks. The 6-10 forward is averaging 7.2 points and 5 rebounds for the Suns while shooting at a nearly 50 percent clip from three-point range. That’s a solid rookie weapon off of the bench and it shows how his well-rounded game has translated to the pro level.
David Thorpe has Morris as his No. 12 rookie at this point in the NBA season with his Rookie Report. He writes:
My concern with Morris was never his talent, only his desire to be great. So far it’s clear he wants to be a good pro, so he’s competing hard. Thus his skills are evident to everyone. Morris came into the league as a shooter with bite, meaning he is someone who can stretch the floor on offense but also someone who will rebound, defend, set screens and play with toughness. There are not many guys like this in the NBA.
He has made more than half of his 3-point shots (14-for-24) and already has four games with nine or more rebounds. Even though he played just 16 minutes against the Lakers on Tuesday, he had four steals — the mark of someone who’s not just going to let bigger guys beat him up inside. It’s early, but I already see at least four teams that would have been better off drafting Morris back in June.