2011 NBA Draft Grades: Why Darius Morris Will Be the Next Rajon Rondo

Los Angeles Lakers Get a Good Grade for Drafting Darius Morris in 2011 NBA Draft

Heading into the 2011 NBA Draft, the Lakers hater in me was quite pleased with the fact that the purple-and-gold buggers out in Los Angeles did not have a first-round pick. After all, this is a team that is in desperate need of some youth, and they were not going to be able to get any until the second round.

And then the Lakers drafted Darius Morris, a 6'5" point guard out of Michigan, with the 11th pick in the second round (41st overall). At that point, I couldn't help but mumble a four-letter word that rhymes with "sit." This is because, in my opinion, the Lakers basically drafted a guy who could very well become the next Rajon Rondo.

Don't worry. I'm pretty sure I can explain.

Had any other team drafted Morris, it would have been hard to see the appeal. He's got great size and he's a solid athlete, but he's not much of a scorer. In a draft chock-full of scoring point guards, that makes Morris something of a second-rate option. That's why, one supposes, he went in the second round.

Obviously, Morris is not totally without skills. He is an outstanding defender and scouts agree that his court vision is elite. The fact that he was fifth in the country with 6.7 assists per game this past season definitely backs up that claim.

If you know anything about the Lakers, no doubt you can already see why Morris is such a great fit. A point guard who can play defense and distribute the ball is exactly what they need.

Sure, Derek Fisher is a good player. He's been around forever, and he definitely epitomizes the term "savvy veteran." That said, it is getting increasingly difficult to determine what exactly Fisher's role is on the Lakers.

It often seems like his only job is to be the fifth guy out on the floor, and you only really notice him when he tosses up one of his trademark rainbows or commits an egregious ...

About the Author