NBA Draft: Discussing Darius Morris with AnnArbor.com's Michael Rothstein [Video]
The buzz surrounding the Lakers' draft night proved pretty low key.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak indicated uncertainty on whether any of the team's second-round draft picks at 41, 46, 56 and 58 would actually make the roster. There was more talk about the Lakers' reported attempts to trade Lamar Odom than who they'd actually select in the draft. And team officials and the media alike seemed more interested in musing about Ron Artest's attempt to legally change his name to "Metta World Peace" than any of the draft developments.
Still, the Lakers made solid pickups, particularly in their first two picks -- the University of Michigan's Darius Morris and College of Charleston's Andrew Goudelock -- two players that have the potential to help solve the Lakers' backcourt issues.
Morris spent a few minutes of draft night speaking on a conference call with a contingent of L.A. media, but to follow more in depth on what Morris' presence might mean for the Lakers, I brought in AnnArbor.com's Michael Rothstein, who covered Morris during his two seasons with the Wolverines and has plenty of insight on him.
Among the highlights on our conversation:
--Even though Rothstein believes playing another year in college would improve Morris' development, he said Morris made the right decision to declare for the draft because of a relatively week draft field this year.
--Rothstein believes Morris' passing skills (a Big Ten-leading 4.2 assists per game) should land him a roster spot on the Lakers.
--Rothstein predicts Morris won't suddenly become a great three-point shooter after going only 25% from the field his sophomore season, but said it shouldn't hinder his value to the Lakers.
--Rothstein also shares a must-read story he wrote a few months ago detailing Morris' high-school friendship at Windward with Dan Tan, who was legally blind.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Michigan guard Darius Morris goes for a layup against Illinois in the Big Ten Conference tournament game. Credit: Michael Conroy / Associated Press