Former first-round pick Morrison eyes return to NBA with Blazers
Adam Morrison, 28, has accepted an invitation to the Blazers' camp
The No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, he hasn't played in the NBA since 2010
After stints in Serbia and Turkey, he played well in the NBA's summer league
From the Gonzaga hype to NBA hell and back again, Adam Morrison isn't done just yet.
The 28-year-old, who was taken third in the 2006 draft, has accepted an invitation to Portland's training camp, according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein. Should Morrison take advantage of the void left by Blazers guard Elliot Williams' season-ending Achilles injury last week and impress enough to earn a roster spot, his deal will be for one year at the league's minimum salary.
This isn't the way it typically goes for top-five picks, especially players like Morrison who were so wildly celebrated as can't-miss prospects. But after coming up short in Charlotte, languishing with the Lakers and giving up on the game altogether before playing in Serbia and Turkey last year, Morrison -- who last played in an NBA game on April 27, 2010 -- will have another shot to show he belongs.
"I just think it'll be a great opportunity for him," Bartelstein said. "I don't know that there's ever been a guy who got less of an opportunity in the NBA who came out as highly drafted as Adam did. He had a really good rookie year, and then tore his ACL and really hasn't had a chance to play since then."
Considering the way this summer went for Morrison, this is likely his last NBA chance. Despite averaging 20 points and five rebounds for the Clippers in summer league, he mostly found apathy on the open market until landing the deal with the Blazers. Morrison had been hopeful that the Clippers would add him, but they opted to sign small forward Matt Barnes instead.
"What (Morrison) did this summer (with the Clippers) was tremendous,"
Bartelstein said. "He was as good as anybody in Las Vegas -- probably the best offensive player in Vegas. We've been looking around, trying to find the right opportunity."
With new general manager Neil Olshey and coach Terry Stotts having been added over the summer, the Blazers are in rebuilding mode. They have 15 guaranteed contracts as is, but Morrison's camp is confident he'll be able to secure a roster spot if he plays well enough in October.
"I just think it's a great opportunity for him and I think it has a chance to be a terrific story," Bartelstein said.
The Oregonian first reported the Morrison invite.
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