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Houston Rockets Player Rankings: ESPN Ranks Marcus Morris #318

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ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player — and counting them down on Twitter (@NBAonESPN), from number 500 to number 1. As the rankings are announced, you can also find them on ESPN.com. ESPN asked 104 experts to rate each player on a 0-10 scale.

Marcus Morris didn’t play much last season. When he did he only disappointed. Most of the blame should lay in the hands of coach McHale and management for sending him back and forth to the D-League. He never got steady playing time or a real chance to show off his skills. When he was put in, if he didn’t produce quickly he was benched for the rest of the game.

With all that being said, Morris needs a lot of work. It’s safe to say he’s not going to be a big man in the NBA like he was in college. The bulk of his play will come from the small forward position. The Houston Rockets played him a lot at shooting guard in the NBA Summer League, where he averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes a game. Not bad, but not great either. Especially after he averaged just 2 points and less than 1 rebound in 7 minutes a game for the Rockets in his rookie season. Morris needs to work on his defense and shot selection. He should watch a lot of tape on Carmelo’s offensive game. They have a lot of similarities in style of play and body type.

Morris did show a lot of promise in the D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he averaged 20 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 30 minutes a game. His numbers in the D-League were the best he’s ever put up as a pro or in college.

Morris‘ spot on the team looks to be in jeopardy after the Rockets selected two forwards in Terrence Jones and Royce White and a big shooting guard in Jeremy Lamb in the 2012 NBA Draft. They also signed Carlos Delfino, who plays the same position to backup Chandler Parsons. Don’t forget Kevin Martin is also still a Rocket for now. If Morris doesn’t start to show progress quickly in training camp he will either keep his spot at the end of the bench, get sent back down to the D-League or even traded. Morris has the talent to be a productive player in this league, he just needs to find his way.

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