It looks like Darius Morris will get at least one more season to prove to the Los Angeles Lakers that he’s capable of handing the point guard duties.
On Monday, the 2011 second-round pick out of Michigan accepted his one-year, $962,000 qualifying offer from the Lakers, officially lengthening his stay with the purple and gold at least until the end of the 2012-2013 season.
When initially drafted, it seemed like Morris was the heir apparent to former Lakers starting point guard Derek Fisher. A slow start, though, limited Morris’ options early on and forced him into a reserve role as fellow 2011 draftee Andrew Goudelock received the majority of the rookie bench minutes.
In the 19 games that he played in during the Lakers’ 2011-2012 campaign, Morris averaged 2.4 points, 1.1 assists and 1 turnover in nine minutes per game. Although his numbers were lackluster, he did shoot 44.4 percent from beyond the arch, something that should make him worth retaining for a Lakers team that struggles consistently from three-point land.
Still, despite playing sparingly, the Lakers saw enough in the youngster to keep him around for one more season as they continue the search for their point guard of the future. He possesses some promise as a passing point guard with considerable deep range.
Morris will have the entire 2012-2013 season to show that he’s capable of being a contributor for the Lakers. This year will be a “prove it” opportunity for Morris as he continues to develop as a potential-laden NBA prospect.