Report: Markieff Morris signing with Thunder

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The Lakers didn’t get Enes Kanter.

They’re not getting Markieff Morris, either.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Wizards traded Morris to dodge the luxury tax, and the Pelicans waived him. He has been just OK this year, but maybe getting healthier and escaping the drudgery of Washington will improve his play. Morris certainly brings plenty of talent as a versatile big forward.

He should provide an upgrade over Patrick Patterson as Oklahoma City’s backup power forward. Patterson is having another down season, raising questions about  his long-term health.

Morris projects to cost the Thunder $44,865 daily in salary and luxury tax. They play New Orleans tonight, and I wonder whether they’ll sign Morris in time for that game. Waiting another week – during the All-Star break – would save them a projected $314,057.

But it’d also cost him $85,640. So, he might not be down to wait.

That could be a reason he didn’t pick the Rockets. Though they have two open roster spots, they can’t yet sign two players even to pro-rated minimum contracts without crossing the luxury-tax line. They could have signed Morris and remained below the tax, but that would have meant waiting longer for another addition.

As for the Lakers, Morris is another pursued free agent who wasn’t Carmelo Anthony. If everyone keeps choosing other teams, the Lakers might run out of excuses for not signing Anthony (other than the right one).