Markieff Morris has made his wishes clear — he does not want to be a member of the Phoenix Suns anymore. He feels betrayed — he took less than market value to stay with the Suns and play with his brother Marcus, but Phoenix traded Marcus to Detroit this summer. Morris is done and will pay league fines to make it known.
We have us a standoff. With coach Jeff Hornacek right in the middle of it trying to make peace. He’s optimistic, although I’m not sure what other public position he can take. He thinks this will all work out, as he told Paul Coro at the Arizona Republic.
“It’s a case of hopefully he can get here and we can all talk to him,” Hornacek said. “I think, once he gets here with the players, maybe the players can help with that regard and realize that probably, like anything else, it happens when you might not be happy with the organization. But you’re a professional. You go out there and play as hard as you can. Really, when you get out there and start playing games, you’re not playing for the organization. You’re probably not even playing for your coaches. You’re playing for yourself and your teammates because that’s the bond those guys have as players. Once he gets playing with these guys, I think he’ll be OK.”
Hornacek can stand his ground and be patient. Morris doesn’t have much choice, unless he doesn’t want to get paid. He’ll be in camp, he’ll play hard (likely as the team’s starting power forward), and when reporters ask him about it he’ll do a Marshawn Lynch imitation: “I’m only here so I don’t get fined.”
This is not ideal for a Suns team finally looking to jump up into the playoffs in the West after having just missed out for a couple seasons — they need to get off to a fast start.
This also doesn’t help Markieff’s reputation around the league as challenging for coaches and front office people to deal with, something that does not help his trade value.