Chad Ford has Darius Morris....

Submitted by AC1997 on June 16th, 2011 at 11:57 PM his 5th tier of prospects and estimates that he will go between picks 21 and 35.  This is an insider article where Chad Ford of ESPN ranks the NBA draft prospects into tiers based on their long term potential.  This year he has zero players in Tier 1 (reserved for franchise players like Blake Griffen or Jon Wall).

Here's what he says about Tier 5:

Note: These players look like locks for the first round but most likely won't make the lottery. A few teams had Brooks, Harris, Markieff Morris and Vucevic in Tier 4 but not quite enough for them to make the cut; they were very close, though. Bertans, Honeycutt, Jackson, Mirotic and Darius Morris were borderline picks here. Every one of these players dropped out of the top 30 on at least one NBA team's draft board.

I still wish Morris had stayed another year given the likelihood of a lockout since he could have moved himself into a lottery pick next year.  But at least he seems like he'll get the guaranteed first round spot he was hoping for and I wish him the best. 

(edit - fixed some clunky wording)



June 17th, 2011 at 12:02 AM ^

Darius is not in Sports Illustrated's mock draft 1st round. I wish he had stayed at UofM another year. I hope this works out for him.


June 17th, 2011 at 12:16 AM ^

The print edition doesn't have him in the first round. It does have Bismack Biyombo going to the Pistons. I don't know anything about Bismack, but with a name like that, he's got to be good.

Marley Nowell

June 17th, 2011 at 12:08 AM ^

The reason Morris stayed in the draft is a lot of potential lottery picks (Barnes, Sullinger, etc.) decided to stay in school and draw an NCAA salary instead of risk getting $0 with a lockout coming.  Good luck to Darrius!


June 17th, 2011 at 12:16 AM ^

There are 28 players in the top 5 tiers, and in the 5th tier Morris has the highest range in which he is expected to be drafted in. From this it seems like Chad Ford thinks Morris is the 28th best player in the draft, so whether is lands in the late first round or early second round, it all depends on the draft needs of those teams. 


June 18th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

You have to give Darko credit for becoming a defensive anchor.  He's top 5 in the league in blocks per 48 minutes at 3.98, as well as blocks per game at 2.03.  When he came to the NBA he was expected to be some sort of Dirk Nowitzki/Pau Gasol hybrid, with the size of a C and the skillset and athleticism of a SF.  He simply hasn't been made a focal point of the offense anywhere he's been, so he'll be forever stunted with the ball in his hands.

His rebounding numbers suffered playing next to Dwight Howard and Kevin Love and Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol, however.  

Yes, he's a bust for a #2 pick.  Yes, he's a super bust for the #2 pick from the 2003 draft.  He is a player that every team could use, though, and I'd welcome him back as the Pistons reserive C in a heartbeat.

Creedence Tapes

June 17th, 2011 at 12:39 AM ^

Lay off, by all accounts Morris seems to have made a good decision for his basketball career.  You are not guaranteed to go up in the NBA draft if you stay another year, in fact the draft likes Freshmen / Sophmores much more than Juniors / Seniors.


June 17th, 2011 at 1:26 AM ^

Disappointment is expected. Morris didn't really show he cared about the growth of the program as much as many of us would have liked him to. It's expounded by the fact that a number of players considered better prospects than Morris (a few of them in the Big Ten) are returning to school next season.

If Beilein shows he can get players like Morris on trees, it's fine. But if not, he really did hurt the program by jumping at his first chance at the pros.


June 17th, 2011 at 12:36 PM ^

Morris to stay for an another year? Yes. The fact is he is helping himself in terms of career by entering the draft in which there's a better chance of him getting drafted in the 1st round rather than by staying for an another year and not get drafted in the 1st round.  This is his best chance of getting drafted into the 1st round because the overall talent is weaker for this year draft and next year draft is deeper.  Either you need to declare as a soph or jr, otherwise, you will never get drafted in the 1st round regardless of how well you play in your senior year because NBA just does not like senior players for the fact that they already reached their ceilings and is old for a rookie.


June 17th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

I think it would help the program overall since I remember a detnews article on Morris going which mentioned how happy beilien is for Darius since he has never had a player drafted. If Morris goes in first round which is probably more likely then if he waits for next year that is great for the program since beilien can use that on the recruiting trail. Getting drafted is huge to top prospects. Additionally this is great for morris. Yes I am bummed he left but I am happy for him. That being said not everyone has to be thrilled he left, just don't be a dick about him leaving and don't tweet him your disappointment. Not that I thought your original post bcre was bad, I think it is fine you express your disappointment but this issue is sensitive after so many people were dicks to Darius about his decision.


June 17th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

it would answer any question on JB's ability to develop players into a NBA player.  Recruiting would be easier that players would see that JB can develop them into NBA player in addition to the program that is on the rise.  Short term, it hurts because they don't have an experienced PG for next season but over the long run, JB will get better recruits which means better for the program overall.


June 17th, 2011 at 2:10 AM ^

he would not be a lottery pick for next year draft. One the draft will be deeper next year and Morris isn't good enough to be a lottery pick even with an improved jump shot.  He simply lacks explosive 1st step and isn't a great defender.  This year draft is his best chance of getting 1st round contract and I don't blame him for going to NBA.  If there is no possibility of NBA lockout, we would see him stay for one more year because potential lottery picks like Sullinger and Barners would certainly bolt for the draft.  The fact that they didn't pushed Morris up on the draft board.

Blue In NC

June 17th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

Not sure I agree that he could not be a lottery pick.  He is a 6'5" PG with good passing skills and right now a suspect shot.  And he could become a better defender with work. He made remarkable progress in one year.  If he substantially improved his shot and rounded out his game in one more year, I think he would have a decent shot at the lottery.  Jason Kidd lacks an explosive step.  You don't have to be the best at everything to make the lottery.

That said, it's his decision and if he goes first round, I doubt he would regret anything.


June 17th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

will be much deeper than this year draft. Sullinger, Barnes are staying in school for one more year and that will push Morris down in the pecking order. Throw in international players and top incoming freshmen, that will only push Morris further down in the draft.


The problem with Morris is he lacks the explosive 1st step and isn't an elite athlete needed to get by defenders.  That will hold him back as a prospect.  He has nice size, good vision and is a pure PG.  However, if Morris did not improve his jump shot next year, his stock will plummet because NBA scouts will worry that he'll never become a good shooter.  That is a risk on coming back to school next year beside potential injury.


Let's take a look at next year draft.  We already know that Sullinger and Barnes are pretty much a lock to get drafted in the lottery. That's 2 out of 13 spots.  There are a few college players who are a better prospect than Morris.  Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, Terrance Jones, Terrance Ross and Dorian Lamb.  That's 7 possible players out of 13 spots.  Throw in high school studs.  They are Anthony Davis, James McAdoo, Quincy Miller, Marquis Teague, Myck Kabongo, Austin Rivers, Brad Beal, Micheal Gilchrist and Adonis Thomas.  That's 9 incoming freshmen who are potential lottery picks which brings up to 16 players for 13 spots.  I can say safely that Morris isn't a better prospect than 2/3 of them(at least) so Morris would have to compete with them for a few lottery spots.  The draft is a lot deeper than this year draft which is why Morris chose to go to NBA draft because he has a chance to get drafted in the 1st round.


June 18th, 2011 at 2:27 PM ^

To be fair, Jason Kidd in his heyday was one of the more athletic/quickest PGs in the league, able to get to any spot on the floor that he wanted.  At 38 years old his lateral movement isn't up to snuff, but he's always been physically deceptive on the offensive end, as his basketball IQ allowed him to play the game at his own pace.

fire lloyd carr

June 17th, 2011 at 6:40 AM ^

D. Morris will be drafted in rounds 1-2 or he will be a free agent. Or the end of the world will occur on December 12 or some date thereafter---- Chad Ford & and the end of days pastor who just had a stroke


June 17th, 2011 at 6:20 AM ^

Wish Morris the best.  While selfishly I wished he had come back, 1st-round money is nothing to sneeze at and going to be a good organization like Houston should help his maturation as a player immensely.


June 17th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

I really hope for Darius' sake this NBA lockout situation (which is a real situation not like the NFL bullshit, the league opened their books and showed they lost $300m) doesn't turn ugly. Only having half a rookie season to figure things out for a guy who's clearly pretty developmental would suck.



June 17th, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^

Darius basically had zero chance of being a lottery pick next year with the strength of incoming freshman and players that stayed in school.  He is going to go in the first round and would probably be the same pick next year no matter of his improvement.  It's too bad he left, but we've gotta move on.


June 18th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

It was wise of Darius to stay in the draft.  Teams are looking for taller PGs to match up with other beasts in this golden age at the position.  It's also trending to play shorter men off the ball at SG, and a taller PG is necessary to complement them defensively.

Derrick Rose 6'4"
Russell Westbrook 6'3"
Dwyane Wade 6'5"-spends more minutes at PG than any other player for Heat
Deron Williams-6'3"
Those are the young guys on the 2010-2011 All-NBA team.

The old guys have some say in the matter, as well:
Jason Kidd-6'4", championship-winning PG.
Chauncey Billups-6'3", championship-winner.

Hell, even the shorter guys are playing big.  Chris Paul is 6'0" and pulls down 4.6 rebounds a game for his careeer, Rajon Rondo is 6'1" and gets 5.8 caroms on average.  Tony Parker, 6'2", gets the majority of his points in the paint.

Then you've got 6'4" Ricky Rubio, 6'4" John Wall, 6'5" Tyreke Evans (until they get a legitimate PG), 6'3" Stephen Curry, etc...

Darius chose the right time to go professional, as his stock is probably at the highest it could get.