The Portland Trail Blazers have offered a non-guaranteed contract to former Michigan Wolverine Darius Morris. The 23 year-old, 6’4” point guard was selected with the 41st pick of the 2011 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, but has not impressed since then. In his three years of NBA experience, he has been assigned to the D-league four times and played for four different teams.
This has no real bearing on the Trail Blazers’ 2014-15 outlook, as they are pretty clearly just rounding out the training camp roster at this point. They already have the maximum 15 players with guaranteed contracts and are unlikely to oust one of them in order to add Morris on a more long lasting basis. The same can be said about other training camp signees, James Southerland and Diante Garrett.
Still, if you have enough of a basketball itch to monitor the Trail Blazers’ training camp, there is nothing wrong with learning a little about the competitors to-be. Morris has certainly had his moments in the NBA. He once dropped 24 points on the 2012-13 San Antonio Spurs during a playoff game (although the Lakers lost 89-120). The kid has potential to find low to mid-level success in the right situation.
While that situation will not ultimately be with the Trail Blazers, I look forward to seeing if/how he pushes others to perform in training camp. Sometimes “warm body” plug-ins can be surprising.
Career averages: 3.7 point, 1.5 assists, 39.9 FG% in 12.4 minutes per game