Project versus proven. That’s the challenge facing the Golden State Warriors with the No. 11 overall choice in the 2011 NBA Draft. As Slam Magazine’s latest mock is unfolded choice by choice leading up to the late June draft, writer Branden Peters admits that it’s difficult to choose between a pairing like Marcus Morris or Donatas Motiejunas. They’re just too different to compare. So it comes down to need, and given the Warriors state of the roster, the selection is Morris.
That’s a good call at this point in the draft, given that Morris’ typical position falls somewhere around the No. 10 spot in the draft. Some have linked him as high as No. 8 to the Pistons or as low as No. 19 to the second Bobcats choice in the first round, but most draft pundits believe that Morris is lottery level talent for a team on the verge of making the playoffs. Enter the Warriors at No. 11.
That’s where the Warriors currently sit, although it’s difficult to tell what they will need until after any much rumored deal for Monta Ellis goes down. A backcourt of Stephen Curry and Ellis is an exciting one to watch and full of scoring power, but it’s hardly a complementary backcourt in any way. If Curry is the keeper, then Ellis has to go, and that will also bring in some modicum of talent at a position of possible need — which might affect whether or not Morris is a sound fit.
Then again, every team in the NBA would appreciate having another versatile low post option with solid baseline moves and a good jumper. There’s no real weakness in Morris’ game so he’s a good addition to a frontcourt with more one-dimensional players (a la David Lee).