Lakers Season Report Cards 2011-12 – Darius Morris

Darius Morris, Point Guard

Grade: INC.

Whenever the Los Angeles Lakers draft someone in the second round, it’s unrealistic to expect much out of that the player. This was the case with Darius Morris this year. The 6’5″ guard out of Michigan was drafted for insurance purposes at the point guard position behind Steve Blake and Derek Fisher (and later Ramon Sessions).

Out of the two players the team drafted in the second round, the Laker faithful knew more about the undersized shooting guard, Andrew Goudelock, who was being labelled as a poor man’s Jimmer Fredette, than Darius Morris, who was more or less an unknown commodity.

Draft reports speculated the best case scenario for Morris was the Denver Nugget’s Andre Miller; as both guards aren’t overly athletic but compensate for it with their tremendous court vision and other intangibles.

Unfortunately for Morris, the opportunity for playing time was few and far in between. His 8.9 minutes per game average is ballooned due to the temporary void left by Steve Blake’s castochaondral fracture in January.

The only time we saw any degree of success from Morris was during his one game stint with the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ developmental league affiliate. Morris poured in 21 points and four assists in the 99-98 victory over the Dakota Wizards before being recalled to the main squad.

Some may argue that if Morris had a chance to prove his worth he could possibly be the long term solution to the Lakers’ woes at the point guard position. However, the one thing that Mike Brown carried over from Phil Jackson’s tenure was that the rookies didn’t get much of a chance to strut their stuff.

After his first season with the Lakers, we know as much about Morris as we did when Mitch Kupchak first decided to draft him, which is very little. We know he works hard, we know he’s a willing learner, but those aren’t traits that will get you playing time on a team with championship aspirations. More often than not, the Lakers fill a need through the open market rather than the draft; Morris was another victim of that trend.

Let’s hope he’s not the victim of another trend that Laker second round picks often succumb to: unemployment.

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