2011 NBA Draft Grades: Grading Darius Morris and L.A. Lakers Draft Picks
Darius Morris was projected as a late first round/early second round pick, but fell all the way down to the Lakers at pick 41.
The Lakers were able to pick up a combo guard at pick 46 in Andrew Goudelock—a pick that many mock drafts correctly predicted.
So when it was all said and done, GM Mitch Kupchak stayed true to his word of selecting guards with the Lakers first two picks.
That's where things got interesting, at pick No. 56, the Lakers took Chukwudiebere Maduabum, a 6'9" NBA D-League forward from Nigeria.
UPDATE: The Lakers have traded Maduabum to the Denver Nuggets for a future second-round pick.
And if that doesn't impress you, at pick No. 58, the Lakers took Ater Majok, a 6'10" power forward from Sudan.
Again staying true to form, Kupchak used his last two picks on players that the Lakers will stash overseas for a couple years as a result of their 2011-2012 roster already being full.
Now let's take a closer look at the Lakers' four second-round draft picks and their corresponding grades...
Darius Morris, PG, Michigan
Darius Morris (6'5", 190 lbs) is a true point guard with great size that allows him to aggressively attack the basket with either hand.
Morris has great court vision and should be able to use his size to post up smaller point guards at the next level.
Morris is a great passer who led the Big Ten in assists last year and should also be very good in the pick and roll next year.
As far as weaknesses go, he's not incredibly athletic which will hurt him defensively. Morris also struggled with his outside shooting during his two seasons at Michigan.
He'll need to greatly improve his three point shooting if he intends to be the Lakers starting point guard of the future.
Considering the fact that he went at least 10 spots lower than projected:
Andrew Goudelock, PG, College of Charleston
Andrew Goudelock (6'2", 198 lbs) is an excellent shooting combo guard that shot over 40 percent from three during his four year college career.
Goudelock averaged 23.7 points last season while making over 3.5 three pointers per game—thanks in part to his already established NBA range.
He's a little small for a shooting guard at the next level and like Morris, isn't overly athletic by any means. He's not really a true point guard and didn't face much competition at the college level.
Considering the Lakers had Morris and Goudelock ranked 19th and 20th on their big board:
Chukwudiebere Maduabum, Forward, Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League
Chukwudiebere Maduabum (6'9", 210) is a power forward from Nigeria that appeared in three games last season for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League.
In his combined 20 minutes of play, he did manage to score 2 points to go along with 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 3 blocks.
And that's about all I, or anyone else in the entire world, knows about this guy.
UPDATE: The Lakers have traded Maduabum to the Denver Nuggets for a future second round pick.
Ater Majok, PF, Australian NBL
Ater Majok (6'10", 225 lbs) is a power forward/center who appeared in 26 games for the UConn Huskies between 2008-2010, averaging 2.3 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Majok bounced around on a couple different teams in the Australian NBL before being drafted by the Lakers with the 58th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He will be sent overseas next season and may have an outside shot at making the Lakers roster in a couple of years.
Overall, the Lakers have to be pleased with Darius Morris falling into their lap at 41. I said prior to the draft the best case scenario would be the Lakers coming away with one player who could make their roster next year and it looks like they might have found two.
If Morris can become a consistent three point shooter at the next level, he has a chance to be special. He is an incredible passer in the half court, and at 6'5", he has the size and the first step to get to the rim and finish.
I consider the Lakers draft to be a success because of the Morris pick and if Goudelock makes the team next season, that will just be icing on the cake.