The Washington Wizards hold the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Who will they take? Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select. Check back for more as we continue to get closer to the draft...
Name: Monte Morris
School: Iowa State
Position: Point guard
Age: 21 (turns 22 on 6/27)
2016/17 stats: 16.4 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 spg, 46.5 FG%, 37.8 3PT% (1.5 3P/4.1 3PA), 80.2 FT%
Projections: DraftExpress 52nd, NBADraft.net 53rd
5 things to know:
*Morris was a solid floor general for four years at Iowa State and can do a little bit of everything. He was seventh in total assists this season among all college players, all while protecting the ball with just 1.2 turnovers per game, and also grabbed 4.8 rebounds despite being a 6-foot-2 point guard. That was all in addition to his 16.4 points per game, which led the Cyclones in a season they made the NCAA Tournament's second round.
*One knock on Morris is his three-point shooting. It's not terrible, as he hit 38.1 percent in his career, but it's also not great. For a point guard of his size and style, developing an outside shot will be important for him to carve a niche in the NBA. He actually shot a combined 40.1 percent as a freshman and sophomore, but on only 2.1 attempts per game.
*Morris was scheduled to participate in the Wizards' first predraft workout, but had an issue with his flight and couldn't make it. That shouldn't prevent the Wizards from drafting him. They could very likely take someone that didn't visit them, as has been the case in years past.
*Morris was recruited by current Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg and played for him for two years before Hoiberg jumped to the NBA. Morris was Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan in 2013. That award has a strong NBA lineage between Glen Rice (1985), Chris Webber (1991), Shane Battier (1997) and Jason Richardson (1999).
Fit with Wizards: Morris could fill their void at backup point guard as a four-year starter who could make an impact sooner than later. He projects as a sound point guard who will be able to distribute the ball and add some scoring. The question would be how high his ceiling is. He didn't stand out among point guards at the NBA combine in May.
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