TrueHoop Network Mock Draft 2011: With the 15th Pick, the Indiana Pacers Select …
… Markieff Morris.
This pick could have been Marshon Brooks. Both fit some needs. But while more perimeter scoring is vital for this team to find, I don’t think Marshon is a candidate to supplant Paul George in the starting lineup. And, in my eyes, a team with as limited a roster as Indiana has needs to at least try to get a player who might be able to work his way into the starting lineup. With Tyler Hansbrough, and perhaps Josh McRoberts if they keep him around, the squad has two guys who can fill the serviceable-and-very-helpful-at-times role at the four. What they need is a consistent contributor they can rely on every night.
None of this is to say that Markieff is that guy.
But there’s a possibility he might be.
And since the Pacers presumably have incumbent starters at the other positions (Darren Collison, George, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert), it just makes sense to fill a primary need rather than try to plug the scoring deficit in the backcourt. That is a secondary need that can be plugged by any number of NBA veterans generally available on the free agent market. Look at Dorrell Wright. Or swing big and go for Jamal Crawford. Either way, scoring off of the bench from the back court isn’t the most difficult commodity to find in this league.
And even if Markieff can’t develop into a can’t-miss NBA starter, his strengths still dovetail well with Roy Hibbert’s weaknesses. Morris can be strong, physically imposing, athletic and aggressive on both ends of the ball while knocking down a few jumpers, grabbing some rebounds, getting to the line and finishing above the rim.
Lastly, Morris also conveniently fits the “upperclassman from a top-tier NCAA program” pedigree that Larry Bird has been coveting over the past several drafts. And he will be entering the league alongside his twin brother, which is something that may be ease his transition into the pro game.
The Pacers might take the guy on the left. Er … the right. No … definitely the left. Or …
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