NBA Rumors: Sending Marcus Morris to the D-League Is Right Move for Rockets

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 3, 2012

Houston Rockets rookie Marcus Morris was beginning to fall out of Kevin McHale's rotation (5.7 minutes per game), so the team decided to do something about it.

Give him more minutes. 

Just not in the NBA.

According to the Ultimate Rockets blog, Houston will send Morris down to the D-League on Tuesday to start playing with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Fortunately, we’re a team (where) it’s very hard to come in as a rookie and play, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. We like all our young players to go through a process before they get on the floor. Marcus is someone with very high level of talent and someone we feel will benefit greatly from playing and working on his game.

Some of you may point to the fact that Morris was a lottery pick and start calling for Morey's head. "Top picks should be contributing right away," you'll say.

Still though, you have to remember that the Rockets do this with almost all of their top rookies. Aaron Brooks did it when he was a rookie. Patrick Patterson went to the D-League last year and came back as a solid contributor in limited time.

You may not like this move, but it was entirely expected and entirely the right move. 

There's no question about it. 

What's the point of having Morris sit on the bench right now? The Rockets have a slew of role players contributing 10-20 minutes, and they just don't need him right now.

How exactly is Morris improving his game by playing five minutes per contest at a position (PF) the Rockets don't want him in for the future?

In the D-League, he'll play against lesser competition, sure, but he'll actually get to play and he'll be able to get accustomed to the small forward position where Houston eventually wants him. 

Throw in the fact that there was essentially no preseason and it isn't a surprise the 22-year-old Morris isn't quite ready to contribute in the NBA. In this shortened season, there are less practices and less opportunities for young players to improve themselves, so the D-League is that much more important.

The Developmental League may sound like a punishment, but it's no death sentence. It's a place where Morris will improve his offense, defense and, most importantly, his conditioning. 

This is far and away the correct decision.

Now, the fact that Hasheem Thabeet and Chandler Parsons aren't joining him, that's another story. 

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