What do Nick Van Exel, Brian Shaw, Norm Nixon, Derek Fisher, and Magic Johnson all have in common? They were chosen as the five best point guards in Los Angeles Lakers history by Lakers Nation.
With Derek Fisher getting “up there” in age and in the final year of his contract, the Lakers front-office wisely decided to draft point guard Darius Morris with the 41st pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Morris spent two years at the University of Michigan before making the leap to the NBA. As a freshman, the Los Angeles native averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 assists in a little over 24 minutes per game.
In his second collegiate season, Morris quickly became the most important player for the Wolverines, averaging 15 points, 6.7 assists, and 4 rebounds in 34.8 minutes per game. Aside from these stellar numbers, Morris also shot an impressive 48.9% from the field.
Many scouts had rated Morris as a first-round talent, but the Lakers were fortunate enough to land the former Windward High School star in the 2nd round.
What can Darius Morris do for the Lakers? I’m glad I asked. For one thing, Morris is one the tallest and longest (wing-span wise) point guards in the NBA. Morris stands at just over 6′ 5” tall, with shoes, whilst his wing-span is 6′ 7.5″.
Morris’ size will allow him to effectively guard and challenge any point guard in the game. He also possesses quick lateral foot speed, which can turn him into a shut down perimeter defender in time, especially if he can take some pointers from Ron Artest.
Nonetheless, Darius Morris’ best attributes are his ball-handling and passing skills. He arguably had the best handles and passing skills in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Morris’ passing capabilities can create easy offense for a Laker team that will be without legendary coach Phil Jackson the next time they step on the court, whether is be next season or possibly in 2012.
The addition of Morris will surely facilitate scoring opportunities for all of the Lakers offensive weapons, including Kobe Bryant.
All things considered, Morris should get ample opportunities to become the Lakers number one option at point guard. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he grasp the opportunity and become a great player for the Los Angeles Lakers. If i’m wrong, well, it wouldn’t be the first or last time, so go easy on me.
Follow Shawn on Twitter: @etemadis