With the 2011 NBA Draft two weeks away, here’s an exercise that can be both challenging and therapeutic for Kansas University basketball fans who can’t wait to find out which NBA teams will land former Jayhawks Marcus and Markieff Morris in the June 23 draft in New Jersey.
First, log on to your favorite non-KUSports.com sports web site and take a look at this year’s draft order. If it’ll help, you can jot down a couple of notes about team needs, draft history or anything else.
Next, you do the drafting. Fill in the names of eligible players, starting with the first pick and going as far down as you’d like. For this exercise, stopping at the end of the first round should be fine. Hint: Jotting down Duke point guard Kyrie Irving for Cleveland at No. 1 and Arizona forward Derrick Williams in Minnesota’s spot at No. 2 should send you on your way.
Here’s the tough part. See if you can find a way for Marcus and Markieff, KU’s twin towers who have played together for as long as they can remember, to remain teammates in the NBA.
It’s tricky. But it can be done. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford proved that Wednesday, when he released his latest mock draft. In it, Ford has the Charlotte Bobcats taking Marcus Morris with the No. 9 overall pick and Markieff Morris at No. 19.
Charlotte owner Michael Jordan recently acquired the No. 19 pick from New Orleans, which originally got it from Portland, to bolster the Bobcats’ stable of big men. Based on Ford’s analysis, doing that by adding the Morris twins might not be as much of a pipe dream as it seems.
Marcus Morris going ninth is an easy sell. He could go higher, he could go lower, but he’s certainly a lottery pick, which means he’ll go in the Top 14.
Here’s Ford’s take on Marcus: “The Bobcats haven’t been the greatest drafters the past few years. Michael Jordan is determined to change that. The thinking in Charlotte is to not take big risks — to go with a proven product and swing for a double instead of a home run. Morris, with his versatility, toughness and Kansas pedigree is a very good option.”
So we’re good there. But Markieff Morris at No. 19 is a little more of a stretch. The reason? The Bobcats have to hope that Markieff still is available when their second pick in Round 1 rolls around. It’s possible, but there has been plenty of talk of him landing in the lottery, as well.
Here’s Ford’s take on Markieff and the potential Morris twins merger: “A month ago I was in Florida with the Morris twins and the big topic of discussion was the inevitability of the two brothers breaking up when they were drafted by different teams. We explored a number of options that could reunite them on the same team. This is really the only plausible one, and it’s more plausible than you think. The Bobcats are one of those teams that thinks the twins can play together. If it happens, you’ll see two very happy twins on draft night.”
“Very happy” is probably an understatement. And it’s all but certain that the happiness wouldn’t end with the twins. Although many KU fans root for Boston, Miami, Oklahoma City or whatever team Kirk Hinrich is playing for at the time, Charlotte would take a huge step forward in the race to become the Allen Fieldhouse favorites.
If only Sherron Collins hadn’t missed those flights.
Where do you think the Morris twins and Josh Selby will be drafted? Enter our NBA Draft contest for a chance to win $100 in KU gear.