“I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolfpack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolfpack, it grew by one, so there were two of us in the wolfpack. I was alone first in the pack and then Doug joined in later. And six months later when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought ‘wait a second, could it be?’ And now I know I added two more guys to my wolfpack.”
- Alan from the movie, “The Hangover”
Just last week I wrote an article about how many former Wizards have now found a home with the Charlotte Bobcats. The list included Dominic McGuire, Shaun Livingston, Michael Jordan and Kwame Brown (and according to Michael Lee, we can now add Javaris Crittenton to that list). The reunion of Jordan and Brown in Charlotte is particularly intriguing given their failures in Washington. Now it appears as if the first major personnel move Jordan made upon leaving D.C., is headed this way.
Adam Morrison, who Jordan drafted third overall in the 2006 draft when he was manager of basketball operations in Charlotte, has accepted an invitation to join the Washington Wizards in training camp, according to the Washington Post’s Lee.
Morrison averaged a modest 11.8 points as a rookie with the Bobcats, but his second year was prematurely ended when he tore his ACL in an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Lakers. He returned from the injury in 2008-2009, but he clearly was not the same player, and right before the all-star break, the Bobcats traded him– ironically enough to Lakers.
During his past two seasons with the Lakers, Morrison only appeared in 39 of 164 regular season games, and he averaged a paltry 1.9 points a game. However, unlike anyone else on the current Wizards roster, he did collect two championship rings.
My knee jerk reaction to Morrison’s invite to training camp was a simple, “Why?” His career numbers of 7.5 points and 2.1 rebounds a game are unimpressive for both a shooting guard and a small forward, let alone a number three pick in the draft. His career shooting percentage is 37%, he’s not an adept passer, and he has never been known as even an average defender. Plus, the Wizards (along with other teams) worked Morrison out this summer, and nothing ever came of it. So I wondered what was so different now.
But upon further rumination, I dug a bit deeper and realized that there is a realistic chance that Morrison could make this roster.
The expectations of being the number three pick of Michael Jordan were way too heavy for him to succeed in Charlotte, and the logjam of athletic small forwards in Los Angeles (Trevor Ariza, Ron Artest and Luke Walton) made it virtually impossible for him to crack that rotation. Here in Washington, if he can regain or approach the 50% shooting percentage he achieved at Gonzaga, he could earn some playing time. In John Wall, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich, the Wizards have three slashers who can get into the lane, open shots will be there for the players who prove they can consistently them down. Morrison has a brief training camp to prove he can do just that.
Plus, there is precedence for this type of comeback in Washington. Last year Mr. Shaun Livingston arrived in D.C. fresh off being cut by the Oklahoma City Thunder (a product a trade that brought OKC Eric Maynor), and he was trying to prove that he had fully recovered from a gruesome knee injury. Livingston had a 10-day contract to show he could cut it with a team full of chances, and he exceeded expectations by eventually earning a starting nod from Flip Saunders.
Unfortunately, Morrison doesn’t have the advantage of playing 10 games on a team not headed to the playoffs like Livingston did. He’ll have six days of training camp to learn an offense and prove he can outplay the likes of Nick Young, Trevor Booker, Al Thornton and Cartier Martin.
Add this to growing list of subplots that will begin with Midnight Madness on September 28th.