It has been four years since Adam Morrison was drafted third overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. He was selected before Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and J.J. Redick. When you take a look at what Morrison had accomplished prior to entering the league, it becomes clear why he went so early in the 2006 draft.
Morrison played three seasons at Gonzaga University. During his junior year he average 28.1 points per game on 50% shooting including 43% from beyond the three point line. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds per game. He showed throughout the year that he possessed the ability to score at will. That season would be his last as a Bulldog.
Heading into the draft Morrison had a lot going for him. He was 6'8, clearly had NBA range, consistently shot well and had a motor that never seemed to idle. There were a lot of doubters who did not buy his stock. Their reasons were the same that are applied to most American-born white players. They are not athletic enough to compete in today's NBA.
Nevertheless, the Bobcats used their lottery pick on the sharpshooter. During the '06-07 season Morrison put up real solid numbers for a rookie: 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He appeared to be on his way to a solid career.
Unfortunately, during the following preseason Morrison's development was suddenly derailed by a severe injury. He tore his ACL and missed the entire '07-08 campaign,
By the time Morrison was able to return to the court the Bobcats had hired a new coach. Larry Brown played Morrison 15 minutes per game. He played 30 minutes a game under Bernie Bickerstaff during his rookie year. With such limited minutes and shots Morrison could never find a rhythm in the new Brown regime.
He was traded to the Lakers that year where he has been nothing but a bench warmer.
Adam Morrison was never given a legitimate shot to show what he could do after he returned from his ACL surgery. Local radio hosts in Los Angeles have talked about how good Morrison looked in Lakers' practices but he rarely got on the court during games. This is somewhat understandable with the Lakers since there is so much talent there. But in Charlotte? Morrison could have contributed much more to that team and he would have if Larry Brown gave him a chance.
Now, Morrison has a chance to make a young Wizards team looking to forge an identity over the course of the next couple years. Hopefully, Flip Saunders will give him the fair shot he never got from the Bobcats or Lakers.
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