Los Angeles Lakers: Darius Morris Is the Point Guard of the Future

Ryan SimonCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Darius Morris #4 of the Michigan Wolverines moves the ball against Melvin Goins #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Darius Morris hasn't played a single NBA game yet (or possibly for a long time,) but he is the Lakers' future point guard.

The Lakers struck gold when they drafted Darius Morris with the 41st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He was supposed to be a late first-round pick, but he fell right into the Lakers' lap in the second-round. 

The Lakers haven't drafted a truly great point guard since Magic Johnson. No, I'm not even saying he's the next Magic Johnson. 

But he doesn't need to be. 

He's 6'5", has long arms, great court vision (6.7 assists at Michigan) and is a good shooter inside the three-point line. He's drawn comparisons to Andre Miller, and ESPN's Chad Ford called Morris "the biggest true point guard in the draft." 

The Lakers current starting roster is loaded with talent. They don't need to ship Andrew Bynum and sell their blood and plasma to get Chris Paul. All they need is a young point guard, who can play defense and create his own shot.

And that point guard is Darius Morris. 

The most obvious need for the Lakers has been finding a young point guard. This need has been ignored for years, part of the reason is because of the back-to-back championships the Lakers won, and the other reason goes to Derek Fisher.

Fisher has recently managed to get by on his hard-nosed defense, his shooting ability, his leadership and his ability to come through in the clutch.

However, the Fisher we know and love, is gone.

Chris Paul destroyed him during the first-round on the NBA playoffs, and forced what should have been a sweep or a five game series, into six. 

In the second round, J.J. Barea did the same thing, burning him on defense and getting to the lane at will. 

If Derek Fisher is the Lakers starting point guard for 82 games, I can guarantee you that the Lakers will not win a championship. 

Then there's Steve Blake, who was supposed to give the Lakers hard-nosed defense and veteran three-point shooting. However, he was just another disappointment in a less than spectacular 2010-2011 campaign for the Lakers. 

If there was a time to start grooming a new point guard, the time is now. Kobe Bryant is on his last legs, this Lakers roster isn't getting much younger, and the Boston Celtics still have more rings than the Lakers.

Morris isn't going to come in and start right away. But I do see him earning a starting role post All-Star game, if not sooner. 

I believe Morris can truly become a special player in the NBA. He has to work on his three-point shot and commit less turnovers, but he brings in tremendous upside.

However, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have to play their part in developing Morris. Kobe aided in developing Sasha Vujacic and Shannon Brown, but neither Kobe nor Fisher have had a point guard to groom in their recent time with the Lakers.

Yes, the Lakers did have Jordan Farmar. Even though the Lakers should've hung onto Farmar, he wanted to be a starter. Back at the start of 2010, the Lakers still thought Fisher was their guy, and there was no room for Farmar. But now we all know that Fisher needs to reduce his playing time next season.

Quite frankly, the Lakers situation at point guard couldn't get much worst at this point. They have two aging point guards who can't keep up on defense and lost their shooting touch in the playoffs.

By drafting Morris, in addition to Kobe and Fisher helping him develop, the Lakers point guard situation can only get better.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.