The buzz coming out of several NBA draft circles is that the Houston Rockets are a shark in the water when it comes to Kansas Jayhawk Marcus Morris. The talented forward has been predicted to fall to the second half of the lottery and that’s where things get interesting for Houston, which has the No. 14 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. Do they wait for him and avoid giving up any assets or do they refuse to risk and make a deal to move up? That’s the excitement of NBA Draft day.
Even though Morris played power forward for much of his collegiate career, he’s going to have be more of a combo forward in the NBA, where his size is merely average for a 4. Some have questioned whether he’s versatile enough to play the 3, but those familiar with his game realize that Morris has few weaknesses and will be a positive force at either as a combo forward.
But is Morris really a fit for the Rockets? A closer inspection reveals that this pick might be off. Last year, the Rockets selected Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson — a 6’9" forward — who enjoyed some bright spots last season. They also have Jordan Hill, a second year player this year who is also the same size. Chase Budinger provides youth and scoring ability at the small forward position and Terrance Williams is another project at the 3. Even in the middle the Rockets are gambling on Hasheem Thabeet to provide something of value after coming over from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Perhaps the Rockets could use more size in the middle, but that’s one thing that Morris cannot provide — at least this Morris. Markieff Morris would make more sense, but this seems a bit high for a player projected toward the lower teens or even into the 20s.