When the Phoenix Suns selected Markieff Morris with the 13th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, many Suns fans groaned at the team again picking the "lesser brother" between Markieff and his brother Marcus.
Now, two months into the season, Morris has developed into the Suns most dependable bench player, averaging 8.1 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21 minutes per game and shooting an excellent 41% from behind the arc.
Morris was selected by a pool of the league's assistant coaches to play in the All-Star Weekend's Rising Stars game as he's the Suns first impact rookie since Amare Stoudemire in 2002. For the Suns to rebuild into a contender, it will take a lot more draft day successes like the Morris selection. Seeing him blossom into a solid player so quickly is an encouraging start.
Lesser brother? Hardly. Markieff Morris is the Phoenix Suns game-changer.
The widely used word to describe Markieff Morris after the draft was "tough". As Alvin Gentry said at the Suns news conference to introduce Morris: "We need a guy that can add some toughness to our team."