Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Markieff Morris


In earlier mock drafts, both of the Kansas twins, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, were considered first round picks with Marcus considered the better prospect of the two. But because of several big names pulling out, Markieff has closed the gap and DraftExpress now has them neck and neck in their latest rankings.


Measurables: 6-foot-10, 245 pounds,  junior PF from Kansas

Key stats: 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 58 percent

Projected: First Round

How would he help the Pistons?

Much like his brother, Markieff Morris had a productive college career at one of the top programs in the country. He’s strong, smart and a good enough rebounder to garner minutes right away in a NBA rotation, something that could be appealing to the Pistons if new owner Tom Gores comes in with a ‘win now’ edict.

Morris is a good and crafty scorer around the basket and he extended the range on his jumper during his college career. As a junior, he attempted 59 3-pointers and hit 42 percent of them. He had only attempted 35 threes combined his previous two seasons.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Also like his brother, there are questions about how much upside Morris has. That’s not to say he won’t become a capable NBA player, because his physical tools and production at Kansas suggest he might. But as a junior who was never asked to be the go-to scorer at Kansas, teams in this draft might be more interested in the young bigs who are still filling out or have more intriguing athleticism/upside over players like the Morris twins, who are viewed, fairly or not, as relatively finished products.

In reality, players like Markieff or Marcus Morris might turn out to be exactly what the Pistons are looking for if they pick in the 7-10 range in the lottery — blue collar players who defend and rebound, can hit an open 15-footer and will help Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko on the boards. They just aren’t likely to become the star Detroit needs.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"Though Morris still has a ways to develop, and could stand to cut down on his turnovers and improve his overall decision-making, the progress he’s made this season has been overwhelmingly positive. Looking at his freshman season alone, Morris seemed bound for a basic catch-and-finish role predicated on hustle and defensive toughness that would have him spending virtually all of his times at the rim or in the paint. His offensive skill set now fills a variety of roles that fit nicely with the ever-increasing versatility of the power forward position on the NBA level."

From ESPN:

"Markieff has lived in the shadow of his brother, Marcus, for the first two years at KU. No more. Markieff was always known as the better defender — a taller, slightly more explosive version of his brother. But this year he found his offensive rhythm as well. He actually posted a higher PER rating than Marcus, shot a pretty incredibly 42 percent from three and, at times, looked like the more surefire NBA prospect thanks to his size advantage. Markieff is a likely mid first-round pick this year."


"He does an excellent job at finishing around the rim, using long and effective drop steps for better positioning when dealing in the paint … Shows nice touch on his short, over the shoulder baby hook shot … He’s become extremely efficient from the perimeter, shooting 42% from downtown and looking fluent and comfortable in spot up opportunities … Averaged a block and 8.3 rebounds in just 24 minutes of play, illustrating his high activity level and aggressive nature on the interior … Defensively he plays with focus and passion, using his strength to force tough shots in the post … Both he and his twin Marcus exhibit an aggressive “bullying” demeanor."

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