UPDATE: Marc Stein updated his earlier report to say the Nets are in “advanced discussions” to sign Markieff Morris.
Update: The Nets have moved into advanced discussions with free agent forward Markieff Morris as Brooklyn seeks to bolster its frontcourt, league sources say.
My earlier around-the-league notes column: https://t.co/t5akSYVuKz
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 29, 2022
Then there is Markieff Morris, who could help a contending team, and both the Nets and 76ers are chasing, Marc Stein reports in his Sunday newsletter.
The Nets indeed have registered the most serious interest in signing Markieff Morris, league sources say, but Philadelphia has also explored the feasibility of signing the Philly native. Brooklyn, in particular, has a need for a veteran who can command the respect of mercurial stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Is Morris, who turns 33 on Sept. 2, that player? Word is he was not afraid, in his time as a Laker, to speak his mind in a locker room that housed James and Anthony Davis.
Morris is going to get the veteran minimum wherever he signs, so the questions become about the size of the role he is asked to play and if he wants to be part of said team.
Morris looked on his way to being a solid part of the Miami rotation last season until a cheap shot in the back from Nikola Jokic sidelined him for 58 games (Morris instigated the incident, but it was still a cheap shot). Morris never really found his role upon his return.
Morris still has value to a team. He can score efficiently around the basket and from the midpost, is a career 34.1% shooter from 3, but maybe his best offensive skill is passing. Morris makes quick decisions and keeps the ball moving. He’s a physical defender, although he didn’t show that as much in Miami.
Morris’ role in Brooklyn would be backing up whoever you want to consider the four in their system (is that Ben Simmons or Kevin Durant or someone else — it’s hard to define roles in Brooklyn until we see them play together). That said, there should be plenty of minutes. In Philadelphia, P.J. Tucker likely starts at the four, with some combination of Tobias Harris, Georges Niang and Paul Reed getting minutes at the position. Morris could fit into that role of a more traditional four off the bench there.
Morris has options, but Brooklyn could be the best fit.