New York Knicks second year big man Randolph Morris has appeared in one game this season, playing five minutes. Last year, he played a total of 46 minutes in five games. With rebounding and interior defense such a problem for the Knicks this season, wouldn’t it be worth a gamble to play a 6-11, 260 pound center a little more than five minutes in the first 34 games of the season?
Morris’ entry into the NBA was quite unique, when he was able to sign with the Knicks only a few days after his last college game at the University of Kentucky. Morris initially declared himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft after his freshman year, but did not sign with an agent. After going undrafted, he returned to school to play two more seasons. He apparently had contact with an agent during the draft process, despite not signing with one, and was suspended for the first 14 games of his sophomore season.
Due to a provision in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, Morris was prohibited from re-entering the draft and was therefore allowed to sign a free agent contract when he was finished playing at Kentucky. The Knicks signed him to a two-year, $1.6 million deal, beating offers from a number of other teams.
Isiah Thomas, at the time of the signing, said “it’s another guy we can add to our young core. We’re very happy to have him. It’s another big and it’s almost like another pick in this year’s draft — just a little early.”
If we’re comparing Morris to a first round pick, why isn’t he getting the same type of opportunities that Mardy Collins and Renaldo Balkman received during their first two seasons? From what I can tell, this is just another prime example of Isiah Thomas’ complete lack of understanding today’s game and ways to compete successfully in it.