Report: Morris twins said they’d take discount to stay together

3 Comments

Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, twins and Suns, want to keep playing together.

You could have guessed that by how they played together growing up, played together at Kansas and urged Phoenix to put them together.

But you don’t need to guess. They’ve straight up said it.

As both enter the final years of their rookie-scale contracts – and are currently extension eligible – a key question has emerged: Would they accept lower salaries to stay together?

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

The brothers told teams before the 2011 draft that they would take less money to stay together, sources say

That was part of Lowe’s excellent breakdown of the extension worthiness of Tristan Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Jimmy Butler, Alec Burks, Brandon Knight and Markieff Morris. The whole thing is worth reading.

As far as the Morris twins, Phoenix should be talking extension with them. There’s no guarantee they’ll still take pay cuts to stay together, but it’s worth asking. And if they would, that gives the Suns plenty of leverage.

Neither Morris twin has shown enough to warrant a large extension, though both have shown promise through three NBA seasons. Many players in their positions would rather wait until free agency rather than get stuck on a long-term below-marker deal.

But if the brothers really want to stay together, now is the time for both to lock up deals. If they become free agents next season, too many variables come into play. Will the Suns extend Marcus a qualifying offer? (Markieff will definitely get one.) How much will other teams offer? Will Phoenix match?

Right now, the Morrises can negotiate in tandem with Suns general manager Ryan McDonough. They can say either both players get extensions or neither do, and he can offer less money in exchange. It could be very clean and easy, at least as far as negotiating two contracts simultaneously goes.

Next summer, it would get even more complicated.

So, if the Morris twins are still willing to accept lower salaries, between now and Oct. 31 is the best time to get it done.