Markieff Morris draft grades around the web

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The grades are in, and seven national draft pundits share a pretty united view of the Phoenix Suns’ 2011 draft featuring Markieff Morris:

Chad Ford/ESPN.com: B-

The Suns decided they needed size and another defensive presence, and to get those qualities, they may have reached just a bit for Morris here.

A year ago, scouts would’ve laughed at the suggestion that Markieff would go ahead of twin brother Marcus Morris. But after a stellar junior season, he leapt ahead on some draft boards.

Morris is a solid rebounder and defender and he’s tough. He can also shoot the ball, a big bonus in coach Alvin Gentry’s system.

Kelly Dwyer/Yahoo! Sports: B-

The less-heralded Morris brother can turn into a fair pick-and-pop or roll guy, and his long arms and defensive instincts will serve Phoenix well in stretches. With this team in win-now mode, however, I fail to see where he’ll make an immediate impact. Does anyone believe that this guy is coming in to play consistent minutes next season?

Considering the options, though, this was a talent worth selecting.

Jeff Goodman/CBSSports.com: B

It’ll be interesting to see how Markieff does without his brother. It’s a similar circumstance — one that has worked out in Phoenix — with Robin Lopez going his own way from his twin, Brook. Markieff has a natural position and is a tough matchup because of his skill level and versatility.

NBCSports.com: B

They had one pick and made a solid one with Markieff Morris. Solid but not spectacular.

Sam Amick/Sports Illustrated: B+

The Suns were focused on adding some muscle to their frontcourt, with the thinking that Channing Frye would be better served eventually coming off the bench. And while Markieff Morris (No. 13) wasn’t expected to be taken before his twin brother, Marcus (who would go a pick later, to Houston), I’m fine with any team taking a deliberate approach to a draft and being able to execute its plan.

Mike Misek/NBADraft.net: B+

Once again we witness the Suns take the more defense-orientated twin, but this time they’re on the hook that that guy turns out better. Markieff Morris is an NBA ready power forward that can defend the rim, clean the glass and make an open jump-shot from the perimeter. He seems like a nice fit for the Suns who are obviously attempting to become less of a disgrace defensively. Good for them.

Tom Ziller/SBNation: B

Morris immediately becomes Phoenix’s toughest power forward. I’m really going out on a ledge here, considering that Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye are the competition. But still. The Suns now have two brawlers in the frontcourt (Morris, Marcin Gortat), and the team’s famously bad rebounding should improve, provided that Alvin Gentry gives Morris lots of early minutes.

Chris Singleton or Kawhi Leonard would have been better value picks and also met the defense/toughness need. But that’s more a quibble than a demerit. A for effort, C for execution.

If we count Schmitz’s B- we’ve got two for B+, three B’s and three for B-. On top of that 44 percent of our poll as of this writing is voting for a B so it’s fair to say there is a very clear consensus on this selection.

Given that Morris is seen as a safe pick with a high probability of contributing but a small likelihood of developing into a star, a B sounds about right to me.

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