SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27: Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks handles the ball against Jamie Skeen #21 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

2011 NBA Draft Results: Rockets Leave First Round With Morris, Motiejunas

The Rockets wind up with that guy you always knew they wanted. Yeah, him!

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2011 NBA Draft Results: Motiejunas Pick Is Big Bet On Morey's Scouts

Everyone seems to know what the Rockets have in Marcus Morris: he doesn't fill a need position, but he's got a wide base of talents to use on both ends of the floor and should be able to contribute right away if the Rockets need him to. The Rockets other snag in the draft, forward/center Donatas Motiejunas, is a different story. Scouts will speak of his makeup problems and his low weight makes him seem like someone who isn't ready to bang inside. However, the Rockets projected him as a lottery type talent and were thrilled to trade up to grab him at No. 20. Here's what Daryl Morey and his lieutenants had to say about Motiejunas:

"We're thrilled to get Motiejunas - really upside, really mobile, somebody already very skilled offensively. Has a great low-post game. Has a perimeter offensive game as well and can move his feet really well on the defensive end."


"We're a team trying to re-establish our foundation," Morey said. "We think Motiejunas is a lottery-type talent."

It seems like they have a much higher opinion of Motiejunas' defense than most. The more I read about him, the more I keep imagining the name Mehmet Okur. Then I punch my monitor, because I hate Okur. But maybe having him on your team is different. 


Rockets Draft Picks 2011: How Will New Players Fit In Houston?

The easy answer is: they won't. At least not yet. 

The Rockets picked up four different players in yesterday's draft haul: Kansas forward Marcus Morris, Lithuanian forward/center Donatas Motiejunas, Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn, and Florida forward Chandler Parsons. While Daryl Morey stuck to his M.O. of selecting the best player available, the team again failed to resolve it's actual problems. 

That doesn't mean Morey necessarily did a bad job, because it's not like there's an easy way to con someone into giving up the caliber of player the Rockets need. But for now, it's hard to really gauge where these players fit with the team. Montiejunas has the size to play center, but doesn't weigh much and is probably closer to being David Anderson next season than a real contributing piece. Morris is going to find himself behind Courtney Lee, Patrick Patterson, Luis Scola, and Chase Budinger in the pecking order. Flynn is behind Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. Parsons is behind all of Morris' players, plus Morris as well. 

It would be nice if the Rockets had a simple way to exit out of their asset accumulation strategy, but until they do, this is the cost. More talented players, no playing time available. When is the resolution coming?


2011 NBA Draft Results: Marcus Morris Is Very, Very, Tough

The Rockets brought global scouting director Arturas Karnisovas to their draft conference, increasing speculation that they'd select Donatas Motiejunas. Before he could comment on that though, he was instead tasked with defending the pick of Marcus MorrisDid you know that Morris was tough? Lets count just how tough he was!

"We think he is a very talented power forward, scorer. He's tough inside and can score close to the basket and can take you outside," said Rockets director of global scouting Arturas Karnisovas. "He's just tough - a tough player that can also defend.

"We think ... his upside is as a three. I think we're going to try to play him at both positions. We absolutely have no problem with if he can defend.

"We always saw him as a versatile defender. He can defend the perimeter. At the same time, he doesn't shy away from contact inside. He was able to rebound. I think he's very versatile at both ends, very talented.

"What we like about him is obviously his toughness. ... He always wants to get better. We're looking forward to having him."

Just taking a wild stab here: I think the Rockets may think that Morris is tough. 


2011 NBA Draft Results: Rockets Buy Back 38th Overall Pick, Select Florida's Chandler Parsons

Lets catch up. There was some issue over whether the Rockets had the 38th overall pick or not. According to The Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, the pick was included in the earlier trade with the Timberwolves, but the team bought it back. So there you have it, the Rockets do indeed have a second round pick.

They used the pick on Southeastern Conference Player Of The Year Chandler Parsons, a small forward from Florida who they had worked out a few different times. Parsons was projected as a late-first round pick by some sources, but made his way into the second round on the heels of it being taken over by a bunch of trades involving Minnesota. 

Parsons projects as a small forward in the NBA, and his length on the perimeter was something that likely attracted the Rockets. He's a legit 6-foot-8, and was probably Florida's best defender last year. Did the Rockets snag another Chase Budinger here? 


Only Fitting That Marcus And Markief Morris Taken With Consecutive Picks In 2011 NBA Draft

There’s always surprises in the first round of the NBA Draft. This year is no different, but one shouldn’t be at all shocked to learn that the Marcus and Markief Morris — the talented twins out of Kansas — were selected within one pick of each other. Marcus was the first to hear his name called when the Houston Rockets selected him at No. 13. Then just minutes later, Markief was taken by the Phoenix Suns at No. 14. The twins, born just minutes apart in Philadelphia, once again have their names mentioned together. The Morris twins will join Brook and Robin Lopez and Jason and Jerron Collins as the NBA’s active set of twins. That’s got to be a record for most sets in NBA history, no?

Rockets fans are surely excited about the pick. Marcus was the Big 12 Player of the Year last season, and a second-team consensus All-American. He led the Kansas Jayhawks in scoring at 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds a game last season.

Just last week, ESPN’s Sports Science team aired a video feature on the Morris twins. Check it out for more info on the dynamic duo who will get to square off plenty in the Western Conference. For the first time, the twins will not be on the same squad together and will have to compete each other in the Western Conference. Should be great to watch over the years.


2011 NBA Draft Results: Rockets Reportedly Complete Deal With Timberwolves For Motiejunas, Flynn

The Rockets had an eye on Donatas Motiejunas for a long time, and in the end, they wound up moving up a few spots to select him. 

Per Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets will send the No. 23 overall pick, a future first round pick, and Brad Miller to the Timberwolves for the rights to Motiejunas and point guard Jonny Flynn. Flynn has long been on the Houston radar, and perfectly fits into GM Daryl Morey's buy-low philosophy. He'll likely spend most of his time on the bench hanging out next to Hasheem Thabeet as Kyle Lowry runs the show.

Brad Miller had undergone microfracture surgery this offseason and was not likely to be a part of the rotation. With ex-Rockets head coach Rick Adelman out, Miller had lost his biggest backer on the team.

Motiejunas was highly regarded by the Rockets, and he better be for that future first round pick price tag. Some teams were scared away by his mental makeup, but Houston apparently thinks he has the potential to be a star. That was enough to pull the trigger despite the high price. 

Edit: The future first rounder sent to Minnesota is the pick that the Rockets got in the Shane Battier deal earlier this year. John Hollinger describes it as "more heavily protected than Fort Knox."

Edit 2: According to Marc Stein's Twitter, the Rockets also send the 38th overall pick to Minnesota in this deal. Haven't seen this reported anywhere else, so we'll have to see if that actually holds.


2011 NBA Draft Results: Rockets Select Kansas Forward Marcus Morris With 14th Overall Pick

In a move stunningly called by SB Nation's Tom Ziller, the Rockets have used their first round pick on Kansas' Marcus Morris. Markieff Morris, his brother, went the pick before to the Suns. Morris will bring an interesting skillset to Houston, and it's an open question as to whether he'll be better in the pros at power forward or small forward. 

Marcus Morris is regarded as the better scorer of the two brothers. Morris said in a in-draft interview that he thought he fit in well with the Rockets after his workout, and that could be regarded as a slap in the face to Luis Scola. Or maybe he knows something that we don't. 

Houston bypassed players like Chris Singleton, Kawhi Leonard, and Donatas Motiejunas with the pick. Of course, there is still the possibility that they'll be able to pick one of them with their No. 23 overall pick, which should be coming up pretty shortly.

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