By Matt Moore
It's not just All-Stars and veterans contemplating playing overseas during the lockout. Rookies who haven't played a second in the NBA are now getting into the act. Yahoo! Sports reports that Suns first-round pick Markieff Morris is in talks with Greece squad Panathianaikos, via his agent. Morris retweeted the Yahoo! Sports tweet Tuesday, which shows it's in good order.
It's not uncommon for second rounders to elect to go for the money in Europe over the low chance of making a roster only to wind up sitting the entier year. But lottery picks are a different matter. This is a player who hasn't been groomed by his team yet, who hasn't started working on weight training or shifting his game to the pro level, and it's a player the Suns need return on. The idea of him having his game immediately affected by Panathinaikos is at once comforting and alarming. It's good that he'll be in shape, good that he'll get experience, good that he'll get toughened up. But it's a concern that they can't control all the factors.
Morris' agent Tony Dutt recently told the Houston Chronicle he's pursuing overseas offers for all of his clients, including Markieff's brother Marcus. This could be the start of more rookies, who really need the money, looking overseas to start their professional careers. The trickle down effects of this lockout don't end with veterans at the end of their careers.