Markieff Morris is unhappy in Phoenix and trying to force the Suns to trade him.
What’s his preferred destination and how does he want to get there?
John Gambadoro of 98.7 Arizona Sports:
He likes Houston because of James Harden and Toronto because of Kyle Lowry, but he honestly doesn’t care where he gets dealt as long as he is not wearing a Suns uniform.
He is going to tell the Suns he can’t play for them, has too much hatred and animosity built up and that they won’t want him around.
Markieff is not calling back teammates and plans to be very standoffish when he reports to camp. He does not plan on arriving until he absolutely has to, so no pickup games with the boys before camp starts. He is expected to make a circus of media day.
He has told those close to him he can never be happy in Phoenix. That he won’t say a word to any of the Suns’ upper management and will have one word answers for Coach Hornacek. He will keep things short and simple.
He wants them to know he is not motivated.
For his sake, I’m glad Morris would be happy anywhere (outside Phoenix). The Suns sure aren’t going to do him any favors.
But the Rockets and Raptors would make sense on a number of levels. Both teams have several solid assets to construct a deal, making it more likely to find a workable package. They also could both use another talented power forward. Patrick Patterson is fine in Toronto, but he’s not an inspiring starter. I like Terrence Jones in Houston, but Daryl Morey is the type to hedge his bets with another talented player.
This is the time to trade for Morris. He’s quarrelling with his current team, facing felony assault charges and coming off a relatively down season. His value could hardly sink lower.
But he also quietly played very well in 2013-14, is just 25 and has an affordable four years and $32 million remaining on his contract. There are things about Morris to like – especially if he want to play for your team.
Last summer, twins Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris each took a little less money so they could play as teammates with the Phoenix Suns, as they had done since high school and through college at Kansas. Then this summer the Suns turned around and traded Marcus to Detroit to clear cap space as part of their failed effort entice LaMarcus Aldridge.
That has not set well with Markieff at all — he feels the franchise stabbed them in the back. Suns management hoped he would come around, but reports were Markeiff wanted out.
Now those are not reports — Markeiff said just that to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“One thing for sure, I am not going to be there,” Morris said Tuesday after a morning workout at Competitive Edge Sports in King of Prussia. “If you want to put that out there, you can put that out. ” he added. “I don’t give a [freak]. I am not going to be there at all. That’s just what it is.”
What happens if the Suns don’t trade him before training camp starts?
“I’ve got to show up. No question.” said Markieff Morris, who is scheduled to make $8 million this season. “You can’t do that. I will be a professional. Don’t get me wrong.
“But it won’t get that far. … I’m going to be out before then, should be.”
Morris would get fined by the league for saying “I am demanding a trade.” But this is as close as one can get to that line without crossing it.
Markeiff is not likely landing with his brother in Detroit — just-drafted Stanley Johnson is the future at the three for the Pistons, they are not going to pay two twins at that spot in front of him. But it doesn’t sound like Markeiff cares as much about that — he feels betrayed, and he wants to be somewhere else.
Everyone in the league knows that, good luck getting market value for him in a trade. The Suns have put themselves in a bind.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo called this week’s minicamp mandatory for players who wanted to represent Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.
But, apparently, he didn’t mean mandatory mandatory.
Kobe Bryant is still in contention for Rio, and so is at least one other player not in Las Vegas: Andre Iguodala.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Iguodala is one of seven players previously in the player pool who weren’t expected to attend the minicamp. The other six:
- Tyson Chandler
- Kyle Korver
- David Lee
- Damian Lillard
- Derrick Rose
- Deron Williams
Do any other players have excused absences? I doubt Lillard does. Rose carries such a high profile, we’d probably know if he did. But I wouldn’t rule out Chandler, Korver, Lee and/or Williams.
Even if those four are still under consideration for 2016, I doubt they’d make it. Ditto Iguodala.
Like Chandler and Williams, Iguodala won a gold medal in 2012. He’s a glue player – capable of defending multiple positions and a good enough 3-point shooter. But he’ll also be 32 for Rio.
His 2012 contributions should give him a little extra leeway, and his wedding is a good reason to miss the minicamp. Kudos to Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski for not being unreasonable hardliners on the rules.
Iguodala still deserves a chance to earn inclusion on the merits. It’s just hard to see him playing well enough to take advantage of that opportunity.