The Phoenix Suns select Kansas Forward Markieff Morris witht he 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

With the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft the Phoenix Suns select Kansas Forward Markieff Morris.  Markieff is the older brother (by 7 minutes) of Marcus Morris who also played for Kansas and was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 14th pick.  At 6'10", 240 pounds and with a 6'10" wingspan Markieff Morris is the bigger of the two brothers and he is also a basketball player with an established position being the Power Forward.  This in contrast to Marcus who is a few inches shorter, considered a 'tweener' (between positions, the PF and the SF) and plays a more finesse type of ball.  Markieff is a powerful big man that likes the mix-it up down in the paint, but also he can step out and shoot from distance with skilled precision, an attribute that makes him an understandable and a wise choice for the Phoenix Suns.

But imagine that, for the 3rd time in the last 3 years the Phoenix Suns have drafted a twin brother.  The third time's a charm right?  Well, that's what we hope since the first two attempts have not panned out for the Suns.  Taylor Griffin is somewhere in Europe playing 'really hard', and Robin Lopez is being shopped all around the league as we speak after disappointing seasons here in the valley.

But I have a feeling that this situation with Markieff may be different.  For one thing - this will be the first time in 3 tries that the Suns will receive the higher drafted brother...  It's funny that the one prospect that we didn't preview here at Bright Side of the Suns ends up being 'the guy'.  With that being said, let's go ahead and take a look at what we have here with Markieff Morris.

Hear it from his mouth yesterday - a lot of the questions you might have are answered here.


And here's a clip of him working out that shows off some good footwork and a little about his game.


I'd also suggest you check out his bio page at Draft Express and scroll down to see the video on his Strengths/Weaknesses.

Some of the strengths listed are his athleticism, his interior scoring, shooting (shoots well from mid-range and shot 42% behind the arc averaging almost 3 attempts per game last year), his rebounding (offensively rebounds at a high rate) and his good individual defense and defensive positioning.

Markieff definitely addresses a need for the Phoenix Suns that hasn't quite been taken care of since Amare Stoudemire left a year ago at the Power Forward position.  We've needed a scoring PF that can defend and also score on the block or at least off the pick and pop so we can keep the floor spaced.  Also from watching video on Morris he seems very comfortable finishing on the break at the rim and handling alley-oops and other interior passes from his teammates.  That is something that will be very important for him here with the Phoenix Suns. 

Another positive I can find is his toughness.  He's scrappy, get's excited after making big plays and he isn't afraid to speak his mind.  From this article he's quoted on talking a little trash to the number 2 pick in this year's draft, Derrick Williams -

"I didn't think he was as good as advertised," Morris said. "He got the benefit of the calls from the ref and we had to guard him different. He definitely had a good game against us, because we couldn't guard him how we wanted to guard him, and that's what happened."

So when he hears that Williams is a lock to go in the top two, Morris said, "It's still surprises me. What he did to Duke, he wouldn't do that to me or my brother [Marcus]. I'm dead serious. He wouldn't. At all. He's good. But if we was to work out, I would go at him and I would be able to stop him more than people would expect, you know what I mean."

I like.  We need some attitude.  Some toughness.

The draft isn't over yet as I write - but I suspect this might be our only takeaway from tonight's actions.  I hope I'm wrong because we can use all the help and mojo we can get.  If I had to grade the pick at this very moment - I would say it's a good choice... though the fact that Kawhi Leonard was also available for the Suns at 13, and the fact that the San Antonio Spurs just traded away George Hill to the Pacers to take Kawhi - those things make my belly ache just a little bit. 

But we needed a PF that could rebound/defend and score and our FO stuck to their guns and took the best available option.  Only time will tell the real story.

This humble blogger approves of the pick and is excited to see just how well he can spread the floor and operate in the pick and roll.  Maybe we can gets some authoritative dunks from someone other than Hakim Warrick.

Poll
What do you think of the choice?

  1072 votes | Results


PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns’ brass made a statement about their view of the team’s immediate future by selecting Kansas power forward Markieff Morris with the 13th overall pick in the...

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NEW YORK - JUNE 22: NBA Draft Prospect,  Kyrie Irving speaks to the media during media availability as part of the 2011 NBA Draft on June 22, 2011 at the Westin Times Square in New York City. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)



The headline is for you guys - that's what I'm expecting you to bring.  NOW LET'S GET IT ON!


The Phoenix Suns’ murky future will receive a modicum of clarity Thursday night, but the direction the franchise goes in tonight’s NBA Draft is anybody’s guess at this point. What we know is that the...

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Will we see this same set of characters on the court together again?  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

IT'S "D" DAY! The NBA Draft 2011 starts in the next 6 hours. No more than 1.5 hours after Kyrie Irving's name is called, we will hear something hard and true about the Suns.

Today is the last day of guaranteed Phoenix Suns news for... ever. I mean, one day some time in the future, the NBA will start up again. But that could be months, or even a year from now.

Today is it. It's the last day on which we have absolute 100% certainty there will be at least 1 transaction executed by the Suns' Front Office.

I'm sure Suns President Lon Babby and GM Lance Blanks, and even scouting director John Treloar, did not sleep well last night or maybe even in the last 2 months since their honeymoon of absolution from blame ended with the last Suns game of the 2010-2011 season. They didn't put that roster together, so they couldn't take any blame for the relatively-disastrous season known as 2010-2011.

But now? It's on Babby. And Blanks. And Treloar. The Suns are forced to execute a transaction tonight, whether they like it or not.

Hit the jump for more on the options and odds.

What will the Suns do? Let's look at the options.

Make a big trade to move into the top 4 of the Draft

Since Babby went on record yesterday to pull the Suns' only 2 top-of-draft-worthy trade chips off the market, this idea can be put to rest. Without going back on his word, Babby won't be writing the name of Derrick Williams, Kyrie Irving, Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas on the Suns' draft card.

Chance of happening: 5%

 

Acquire another lottery pick, to take a top-half PG and PF

This has a little better chance of happening. Every team seems to be offering a starting or backup PG as the bait to land a top-10 pick in this draft. San Antonio has floated Parker. Portland is floating Andre Miller. Oklahoma City is even floating little Eric Maynor. They all want a specific player and are willing to give up a key rotation piece to get it. And then there's the teams with multiple #1s, wanting to parlay them into a lottery pick of their own. Of course, these teams are going to play poker all night, waiting to see if their player drops and then make the real offer at the lowest possible moment (ie. why offer player x and y for the 6th pick when you could offer just player x for the 9th?).

The Suns, on the other hand, are offering an inexpensive 7'1" 260lb 22-yr old Center (Robin Lopez) in exchange for a pick anywhere in the lottery. Sounds reasonable, right? It just may be. The Warriors turned down Lopez for the #11, but if other offers fail to materialize and their fave players are off the board, don't you think GS reconsiders?

Chance of happening: 10%

 

Trade the #13 and player(s) for another team's quality player(s) and/or picks

Suns have reportedly talked to Minnesota about trading them Lopez, Pietrus and #13 for Michael Beasley and #20. Likely the Suns could walk away with one of their faves - Shumpert, Markieff Morris or Kenneth Faried at #20 and go home happy.

Chance of happening: 20%

 

Keep the #13, draft the best remaining player on their board of faves, and go home

If all else fails, and the Suns don't connect with just the right team, just the right offer and just the right time, then likely they find themselves on the clock at 13 and will just draft whoever's left on their board.

My guess on order of faveness, considering only those who could be available:

Tristan Thompson - raw PF with great potential

Kemba Walker - leader, big-time scorer who could be overrated, and is dropping from top-5 lists as we speak

Bismack Biyombo - unknown, could be Wallace, could be pine-rider with 4 fouls every 4 minutes

Jimmer Fredette - who knows. Mark Price? Or Dan Dickau?

Markieff Morris - could be a Drew Gooden, or a nothing - not loved enough by BSotS to even garner a preview article 

Iman Shumpert - is he the next DJ Strawberry? Or a new mold of 6'6" PG?

This order is just my guess. I'm also guessing that the Suns expect the first 4 to be gone, which is why they floated the Morris/Shumpert conundrum yesterday.

Chance of happening: 60%

 

Suns trade the #13 pick away for cash and/or marginal rotation players (ie. Eric Maynor)

Ugh. I really, really hope this doesn't happen. Could it? Sure. Will it?

Chance of happening: 5%

 

So there's my take on how the day could unfold. Let's hear YOUR thoughts.

Poll
What will the Suns do today?

  570 votes | Results


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