Randolph Morris is no small man. Standing a shade over 6-foot-10 and carrying some 270 pounds qualifies him as an expert on living large. So what does that make Garret Siler, the man Morris has been wrestling with the past three days in the Hawks' rookie/free agent minicamp?
"He's a pretty big dude," Morris said of Siler, who is listed at 6-11 and 305 pounds, an extremely conservative estimate by all accounts. "He's a pretty good player, too, but he's got a lot of mass. And he's strong. It's tough to move him out of the way because he's just so damn big."
Siler, an undrafted rookie from Augusta State, seems to be at least two inches and a good 40 pounds bigger than Morris, who with Zaza Pachulia ranks as the Hawks' biggest players.
Judging from the way Siler has tossed other guys around and out of the way in minicamp (all without a hint of genuine malice), he clearly packs the power of two or more average-sized men who routinely lift weights.
Siler smiles when the topic turns to his gentle-giant status, mostly because he knows that his meal ticket to a life in pro Basketball hinges on his ability to match skills with his brawn.
"I guess I'm what most people would call a late bloomer," Siler said. "I basically played just my senior year at Richmond Academy [in Augusta], but I have an accelerated learning curve. A lot of people that saw me play a few years ago are really surprised to see me now.
"I'm a sponge, man, and I'm always anxious and eager to learn something new. So all this Basketball I've played this summer is right up my alley."
Siler has continued to do in minicamp what he started in a pre-draft workout with the Hawks , when he went against B.J. Mullens of Ohio State, who was picked in the first round by Dallas before it traded him to Oklahoma City.
Siler has great hands, finishes strong and is every bit the space-eater you would expect from a player of his size. He hasn't backed down from challenges, a trait Hawks coach Mike Woodson relishes.
"I just love the big fella's spirit," Woodson said. "He's not out here trying to shoot [3-pointers] or do anything outside of his wheelhouse. He came here to bang and play like the behemoth that he is, and that shows you that he ... understands what his role is going to have to be at this level."
Siler began preparing for that role long ago. He has shed 60 pounds since his freshman season at Augusta State and averaged 16.2 points and 7.7 rebounds as a senior on a 30-5 team, but what really caught the attention of NBA observers was his work in summer-league action in Las Vegas.
"I've had a lot of teams talking to my agent since before the draft," Siler said. "So now it's about finding the best opportunity and going with it. Some teams have talked to me about going overseas for a year, but if I could get into the league right away, that would be ideal."
Morris said he could see Siler making that leap to the NBA right away, a perspective that becomes clear after having to tussle with him on a daily basis.
"I think you'll definitely see him in somebody's training camp," Morris said. "And depending on how well he plays, you figure he'll have a chance to make somebody's team. He's just so big, and that allows him to dominate to a certain extent. The fact that he has a lot of skill and works as hard as he does will definitely work for him."
It always helps that NBA teams remain in constant search for big men, depending on what you consider big.
"I saw Zaza in here the other day, and I honestly thought he was taller than that," Siler said. "When you see him on TV in the playoffs and stuff, they look larger than life. But when I saw him the other day, he didn't look that big to me. Now I understand I'm not a little guy, but I really thought some of these guys were bigger than this."