Ok guys, I know there is this Know the Prospect saga going on, and this post is something like that, but instead of just telling you about him, I am telling you (AND THE KNICKS MANAGEMENT) that this is who the Bockers should be drafting. Jump.
Darius Aaron Morris hails from LA. In high school he was invited to the Academic All-American Classic and won the John Wooden High School Player of the Year Award. Morris just completed his sophomore year at Michigan, was named team MVP and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. Also according to his twitter, he loves his mommy very much. So in summation he seems like a very nice fellow who would probably be best friends with Toney Douglas.
Now for his on-court abilities. Morris is a pure point guard. He boasts excellent handles and even better passing abilities. In 2010-2011 he set the Wolverines single season assist record with 235. That number would have likely been even higher if he had better players surrounding him. Morris has a NBA frame standing at 6-4, 190lbs. He plays with high energy on the defensive end and should be able to guard both 1s and 2s at the next level. Crafty is a word that often comes up when describing his scoring abilities. Morris is adept at getting into the paint and finishing around the rim. Without a doubt, the biggest weakness to Darius’ game is his shooting touch. His 3 point percentage last year was a poor 25%, however, as surprising as it may be, that was a big improvement over his freshman 18%. His free-throw percentage was also low, but again improved from his first year (63%) to a respectable 72% sophomore year. All this is starting to sound like the profile of Rajon Rondo, but unlike Rondo, Morris is dedicated to putting in the hard work to improve his jumpshot (and even if it doesn’t improve, could we really complain about snagging someone like Rondo with the 17th pick?). Despite his shaky shooting, Morris still posted a 49% overall FG percentage this last year, a testament to his shot selection and ability to finish at the rim.
It looks like if the Knicks want him, they can get him with relative comfort at pick 17. Here are a few draft projections for Morris:
#17- that’s us!!! (NBA Draft Insider)
Now here is a little justification of why he would be a good fit for the Knicks-
- Chauncey Billups is old and injury prone. Clearly we will need someone to play big minutes at the point when Billups is getting some wind, and when he will likely land on the injury list and I think Morris is the man to do that. In addition, we spent $14mil on Chauncey. His best attribute now is his leadership and mentoring. Morris could learn a lot from Billups in a year.
- Toney Douglas is not a PG. But Toney Douglas can defend point guards. This is convenient because Darius Morris is a PG and can defend shooting guards. These two would be perfect compliments to each other when on the floor at the same time.
- Amar’e and Melo need a pass first point guard. If you watched the Knicks play this year, then you know how frustrating it is watching one of these guys go to one-on-one mode with four other guys standing around. This wasn’t their fault all the time, it was because the offense had no ball movement. Having two superstars like these guys should be giving other players open looks, but that didn’t happen nearly as much as it should have. With Morris at the helm, offensive possessions will end in many many many more open looks.
- Our other options at the point are Reggie Jackson, Charles Jenkins, Nolan Smith, Jimmer Fredette and Iman Shumpert. None of them are in the same stratosphere in ability to drop dimes and run an offense. If someone else tells you differently, they are lying. Also, all of those guys are PG/SG tweeners, except for Jackson (who is the only non-big guy I would be satisfied if the Knicks grabbed instead.)
- Darius stepped up his game when playing against better competition. If you watched the Duke-Michigan game in the Big Dance, then you know what I am talking about. Sure they didn’t pull it out but he can play with the big boys.
- If the Knicks don’t draft him, someone else will and then we will all regret it.
Finally, if you don’t believe my reports, here are some from "experts"-
That nbadraft.net article says a lot of the same things that I did, but whatever. Anyways, what do you all think? Have I convinced you that Darius Morris is the second coming of ____________? If we snatch him at 17, I hope we can swindle a second round pick somehow and take a flier on a big like Keith Benson. I really don’t think any of the bigs in this draft are worthy of our 17th pick, except for maybe that Bismack Biyombo guy. However, Morris seems like a safer bet, and one that satisfies just as big of a need. I probably missed some points I wanted to make, so those will go in the comments if they come to me later.