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Morrison faces important off-season

MORRISON WATCH

With his first year in the NBA complete, expect to see Adam Morrison in Spokane soon as he prepares for probably the most important off-season of his NBA career.

Like most rookies, Morrison discovered the tough nature of the NBA – physically and mentally. This discovery process had its ups and downs, especially near the end of the season when injuries and the emergence of Walter Herrmann combined to limit Morrison's playing time. (The picture at right shows Morrison double-teaming Washington's Darius Songaila with Brevin Knight; AP photo.)

Morrison will spend the off-season preparing for the rigors of the NBA season, making getting stronger (see this Charlotte piece from beat writer Rick Bonnell) his top priority.

The Bobcats weren't that far from the playoffs this season and, with a new coach on the horizon, next year could be pivotal for the team and Morrison. Charlotte has two picks in the first round, Toronto's 22nd for sure and more than likely the eighth, though that spot could improve through the draft lottery May 22.

The emergence of Herrmann gave the Bobcats another 6-foot-9 scoring option, and he is under club option for next season. Another scorer who also played more minutes than expected this season, Matt Carroll, can become a free agent and may just do that, clearing a logjam of sorts at the three. If he doesn't and if Gerald Wallace, another free agent, returns, the crunch for playing time might be tight.

• Will Morrison be part of it? One magazine says there have been rumors he'll be part of a trade package, but doesn't go into any details or actually share any credence with the rumors. So more than likely Morrison will play another year in the South. There is, however, this from Bonnell who said, "he could be gone."

• One of the ups came early for Morrison, and Bonnell included it in his list of the Bobcats' five most memorable games.




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