Hawks Sign Randolph Morris To Contract

HAWKS SIGN FREE AGENT CENTER RANDOLPH MORRIS
Local product returns to play for the home team, add depth to frontline

ATLANTA, GA (July 30, 2008) -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agent center Randolph Morris to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Rick Sund. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Randolph's signing gives us additional size and depth along the frontline, with Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia," said Sund. "He has the opportunity to grow as a player and we look forward to assisting with his future development as an NBA player."

Morris, a 6-11, 260-pound big man from Atlanta's Landmark Christian High School, saw limited action in two NBA seasons with the New York Knicks after entering the league as a free agent from Kentucky in 2005. In 23 career games in New York, he averaged 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10 minutes of action. He played in 18 contests a year ago (with two starts) and recorded 3.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg (.362 FG%). He tallied career highs of eight points in two games in 2007-08, once against the Hawks on March 16.

"We can certainly use a player like Randolph, whose addition will give us much need depth at the center position," said Woodson. "We like what we saw of him during our summer league workouts, and we believe he will continue to develop his skills to become a talented player in our league."

Prior to becoming the first player in NBA history to go from the NCAA tournament to the NBA in the same week - a five-day span - Morris declared his eligibility for the 2005 NBA Draft following his freshman year at Kentucky, but did not sign with an agent. After he went undrafted and decided to attempt a return to Kentucky, the NCAA forced him to sit out the first 14 games of his sophomore season (2005-06).

At the same time, the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibited him from re-entering the Draft, giving Morris free agent status throughout his 2006-07 (junior) season with the Wildcats. As a collegian, he finished with 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, and shot .578 (FGs) over 23.6 minutes in 89 games (with 79 starts) in three seasons for Tubby Smith, as Kentucky went to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three years. His best campaign came in that final season when he recorded career-highs of 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting .592 in 34 games.

Named to the 2004 McDonald's All-America Team after a standout senior season at Landmark Christian HS in Atlanta, Morris was an AAU teammate of current Hawks forward Josh Smith and Orlando center Dwight Howard on the Atlanta Celtics squad that won the 2003 title. He was born January 2, 1986 in Houston, TX.