Aran Smith of NBADraft.net and Kristofer Habbas of NBA Draft Insider both agreed to answer a couple quick questions about Darius Morris’s draft status. I’m far from an expert on the NBA, I probably watched four regular season games this year, so figured it would make a bit of sense to defer to those that follow the draft.
Where do you have Darius listed in your current projections?
NBADraft.net: He’s currently projected as an early second round pick. In the 30-40 range.
NBA Draft Insider: Morris is listed 39th overall today and as the 7th best point guard prospect in the draft. He is 34th in our current Mock Draft (going to Washington).
What sort of effect could the pre-draft workouts have on Morris’s current standing? How high could he rise and how far could he slide?
NBADraft.net: He could rise into the late first round or slip into the late second round. If he really had a poor showing in New Jersey or enough workouts possibly undrafted, but i think that’s unlikely.
NBA Draft Insider: At the Combine or in the Mass Workout in New Jersey Morris could very easily move up the ladder and into the first round of the draft. He is strong enough and crafty enough to take advantage of smaller, weaker guards. In a 5-on-5 setting he may be a top 4-5 point guard in this draft. Morris plays a smooth game that translates better in a game setting. If he is judged strictly on measurements, he will slide due to to his average athleticism. On the other hand, if he is able to have the ball in his hands for those 5-on-5 workouts look for him to be a first round pick. The Mass Workout in New Jersey is scheduled for May 7th-8th.
If you were advising Morris, would you tell him to enter the draft this year or wait another season?
NBADraft.net: Point guard is the position that takes the longest to master and it’s very difficult to learn on the fly since it’s a catch up game playing at the NBA level. I would say for his long term development going back for 1-2 years would be best. For his draft stock, you could make a case either way. He could improve his stock by improving his game. But then again next year’s draft appears to be significantly deeper and better than this year’s.
NBA Draft Insider: When advising a prospect in Morris situation – not quite ready, but with his highest stock – you have to be careful. He will not go any higher next year, the draft is deep and their are an equal amount of quality point guards. He also needs more time to improve, after a junior year he could be as ready as possible. If his stock is a lock for Top 40 I would advise him to stay. If he is on the fence about his stock, go back.
What sort of effect is the potential of having a lockout having on this year’s draft?
NBADraft.net: A number of players decided to return to school to make sure they continue developing and don’t miss out on games. It has depreciated the level of talent in this year’s draft pool.
NBA Draft Insider: Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes stayed for education and to get better, not for money. Fringe first rounders and others are the ones letting the lockout effect their decisions. It is all about who is in the players ears and right now they are having a major impact on these kids.
Final take: will Morris stay in the draft or withdraw?
NBADraft.net: I am hearing he’s likely to stay in.
NBA Draft Insider: I see him staying, worst case scenario he is an early second round pick who needs to earn a contract. He is skilled enough to be a back-up in the NBA today. I am not the first to say this, but he is a better version of Andre Miller.