Darius Morris signs qualifying offer

July, 2, 2012
7/02/12
7:05
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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The Lakers now have two point guards under contract.

The team announced today Darius Morris, taken by the Lakers with the 41st pick in the 2011 Draft out of Michigan, has signed his qualifying offer, a one-year deal worth $962,000. In 19 games last season, Morris averaged 2.4 points and 1.1 assists in 8.9 minutes.

Obviously this news isn't going to make a marked difference in the Lakers' fortunes next season (other than noting if Morris plays a lot in 2012-13, likely bad things will have happened to L.A.'s rotation), but the Lakers are short on young prospects. Nobody yet knows if Morris can develop into a credible NBA point guard, but he's 21 years old, 6-foot-4 and -- while undoubtedly inconsistent in his playing time -- showed enough of those pure point-guard instincts to make him worth holding on to.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5