Markieff Morris became a professional basketball player for all intents and purposes when he was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the the most recent NBA Draft. It seems the lottery pick could begin his career not in the NBA, though, but rather in Greece with Panathinaikos.
Morris is in serious contract talks with Panathinaikos, according to Yahoo! Sports, which would make him the first first round pick to begin his career in Europe rather than the NBA due to the ongoing NBA lockout.
Panathinaikos, located in Athens, plays in the Euroleague and has won three of the last five championships in what many believe to be the second best basketball league in the world.
The timing of this deal is rather interesting as Euroleague president Jordi Bertomeu told SI's Ian Thomsen that the league just recently sent a proposal to the NBA that would discourage European players from heading to America as rookies.
If the former Kansas Jayhawks forward does agree to a deal with Panathinaikos, Morris will join a roster that already includes five players that spent their college careers in America as Nick Calathes, Pat Calathes, Mike Batiste, David Logan and Aleks Maric have all signed on for the upcoming season. Reigning Euroleague MVP Dimitris Diamantidis will also play another year for Panathinaikos.