TrueHoop Network Mock Draft 2011: With the 15th Pick, the Indiana Pacers Select …

… Markieff Morris.

This pick could have been Marshon Brooks. Both fit some needs. But while more perimeter scoring is vital for this team to find, I don’t think Marshon is a candidate to supplant Paul George in the starting lineup. And, in my eyes, a team with as limited a roster as Indiana has needs to at least try to get a player who might be able to work his way into the starting lineup. With Tyler Hansbrough, and perhaps Josh McRoberts if they keep him around, the squad has two guys who can fill the serviceable-and-very-helpful-at-times role at the four. What they need is a consistent contributor they can rely on every night.

None of this is to say that Markieff is that guy.

But there’s a possibility he might be.

And since the Pacers presumably have incumbent starters at the other positions (Darren Collison, George, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert), it just makes sense to fill a primary need rather than try to plug the scoring deficit in the backcourt. That is a secondary need that can be plugged by any number of NBA veterans generally available on the free agent market. Look at Dorrell Wright. Or swing big and go for Jamal Crawford. Either way, scoring off of the bench from the back court isn’t the most difficult commodity to find in this league.

And even if Markieff can’t develop into a can’t-miss NBA starter, his strengths still dovetail well with Roy Hibbert’s weaknesses. Morris can be strong, physically imposing, athletic and aggressive on both ends of the ball while knocking down a few jumpers, grabbing some rebounds, getting to the line and finishing above the rim.

Lastly, Morris also conveniently fits the “upperclassman from a top-tier NCAA program” pedigree that Larry Bird has been coveting over the past several drafts. And he will be entering the league alongside his twin brother, which is something that may be ease his transition into the pro game.

The Pacers might take the guy on the left. Er … the right. No … definitely the left. Or …

Topics: Markieff Morris, Marshon Brooks, Tyler Hansbrough

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  • Tad

    I wouldn’t write Paul George’s name in ink as a starter just yet. I love his athleticism, but I don’t think he’s ready to start. As poorly as Tyler Hansbrough shot in the Chicago series, George shot even worse. I think a scoring two guard is just as big a priority as a solid power forward. Come to think of it, how about a consistent center? Roy Hibbert certainly wasn’t that this year. There are lots of ways the Pacers could go with this pick, but who is really going help the most?

  • pa pa patrick

    i thought hansbrough was one of our best players, why isn’t he considered one of our starters? he had a ton of big games in the 2nd half of the season. i feel like the pacers need 1) scoring and 2) a center to help out hibbert and the zombie foster.

    long story short the pacers should draft jimmer just because i would love to cheer for him.

  • Reggie4God

    All our starters are reasonably solid. Not franchise players by any stretch, but they are better than anything we are going to wind up with in this fairly weak draft. I mean, it’s unlikely we are going to get a rookie into the starting line-up, in 2011-12 anyway.

    Paul George could be a future defensive POTY, and Hansbrough is a beast. I like to think of last season beginning from when Vogel took over, and from that point on these guys were fine. Hibbert is taking some time, but centers do take time. Patience is a virtue and Vogel instills plenty of confidence in him.

    It’s all about boosting the reserves, and with our roster as it _currently_ stands – we clearly have ample support on the wings (DJ/Micky D/Rush/Posey), the point is fine (DC/AJ/Lance), but the bigs need help. Hansbrough/McBob is passable and Hibbert/Foster works fine too, but we have no depth beyond that at all. None.

    We have Granger and four guys still on rookie contracts as our starting five about to play their first full season (lockout depending) under a coach they like (hire Vogel already). This draft is a bit of a non-event pick-wise, but the free agency dealings and the whole new agreement could amount to anything.

    Go Pacers

  • mileszs

    I wish we’d figure out a way to trade the pick + someone to fill a bench need (or pick + several someones for a starter need). The 15th pick in a weak draft means that no matter who is chosen, people will blame Larry when the kid doesn’t turn in to a starter. The pick is poison. Either trade up or trade out.

  • Matt

    Danny Granger and the #15 pick to the Wizards for their #6 and #18 picks….

    Pick #6 Klay Thompson SG Wazzu
    Pick #18 Kenneth Faried PF Morehead St.

    I know that #6 is a reach for Thompson, but A LOT of team like him. He has a proven skill, shooting. Yeah Jimmer can shoot, but Jimmer is not 6’7″.

    Faried is a rebounding machine! He has the same, if not more active, motor that Hansborough or McRoberts have, and is probably much more athletic than either. I’m not saying replacing those guys, but Hansborough/Faried could be our NEW AGE Davis Brothers.

    If we still feel the need to get help for Ol’ Roy, then we could probably swing a trade involving Brandon Rush, or even sign Tyson Chandler or somebody in that mold to pick up the minutes and be a defensive stopper.

    If we keep the 15th pick, I think we should go with Marshon Brooks. If nothing else it would be exciting to have an aggressive offensive player on the team again.

  • http://ducksonthewire.com Kevin Kroeger

    YES! I’ve been on the Markieff train for the past week now. Thank you 8 point 9 seconds for laying out the reasons for selecting this guy. If we stay at 15, he is definitly the guy!

  • JV

    I like Marshon Brooks. He can score and most likely coming off the bench, his defensive liabilities aren’t as big of a concern. You aren’t going to get a penciled-in starter at 15 in this draft. Brooks has been compared to Kobe for the tools he has. That’s never a bad comparison. This isn’t a very exciting draft anyway. Whoever we pick will likely be nothing more than a rotation player.

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