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2011 NBA Draft Results: Where Does Marcus Morris Fit in Houston Rockets' Future?

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23:  Marcus Morris from the Kansas Jayhawks greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected #14 overall by the Houston Rockets during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Joseph HealyCorrespondent IJune 24, 2011

The Houston Rockets stayed true to themselves in this draft and took the best player available regardless of team need.

Kansas Jayhawk Marcus Morris was falling a little bit. He even ended up falling below his brother Markieff, which few had predicted.

So it was no surprise that the Rockets stopped his fall at No. 14. They had to feel fortunate that he had fallen that far, as Morris was slated to likely be off the board by this point.

The Rockets had to have him as the top player left available considering how much of an ill-fit he is for the Rockets at this point in time. It's tough to envision Morris establishing himself with the roster constructed the way it is now.

They are already pretty well stocked at power forward, particularly with players of similar size and skill set.

Luis Scola, the incumbent starter at the position, is similar to Morris when it comes to their offensive games. Both are effective without being explosive athletes, and both have great touch from mid range.

Morris is eerily similar to Patrick Patterson in terms of size. Both stand about 6'9" in shoes and weigh somewhere around 230-235 pounds.

That type of logjam at the position might make it tough to get Morris minutes.

Maybe most importantly, he isn't better than either of those players. Scola is a better scorer and probably a better rebounder. Patterson is more physical and a better post defender.

Let's assume for the sake of being optimistic that Yao Ming returns and gives the Rockets some type of contribution. You can pencil him in for 20 to 25 minutes a night or more if he comes back truly healthy.

While he would still see some time at center, that puts Chuck Hayes back into the rotation at power forward, taking more possible minutes for Morris out of the equation.

If you throw in the raw, inconsistent Jordan Hill, that makes four incumbent players blocking Marcus Morris from getting playing time.

If we know one thing about the Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey, though, it's that the roster is ever-changing. Literally everyone is available in a trade. If the team wants to find a way to get Marcus Morris more minutes, there are only one trade away from making it happen.

It also wouldn't surprise me to see Morris battle for his minutes in the preseason and win some. It's what he did at Kansas.

Two seasons ago, on a team with Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and the super-talented Xavier Henry, Marcus Morris emerged as the go-to scorer.

Last season when the Jayhawks lost or graduated much of that talent, Morris stepped up again and became the Big 12 Player of the Year.

It's that type of play that might have to get him featured on this team. There are just too many other players at his position.

His selection seems like an odd fit, but then again, that's no surprise given how the Rockets draft.

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