The Phoenix Suns may trade disgruntled player Markieff Morris this summer and among the 5 Things You Should Know about the potential of a deal includes: that Morris would prefer a trade to the Houston Rockets or Toronto Raptors and that it stems from the Suns trading his twin brother Marcus Morris.
The news about Morris wanting a trade out of Phoenix was reported by John Gambadoro of 98.7 Arizona Sports, with sources saying that Morris has "refused to talk with" players and coaches from the Suns in recent weeks. Morris's discontent stems from the team previously trading his brother Marcus Morris to the Detroit Pistons, but it also has to do with the contracts that the Morris brothers signed in 2014. Here is a rundown of the situation:
1. The roots of the issue stretch back to September 2014 when Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris got new contracts.
The Morris brothers signed extensions in 2014 and the final contract numbers along with the negotiations were called "unique" by AZCentral.com, as their agent Leon Rose negotiated a "a cumulative figure" with the Suns for both players. The brothers were interested in staying together in Phoenix and the $52 million figure was split with Marcus getting $20 million over four years, while Markieff signed for $32 million over the same amount of years. Markieff was initially upset at the trade of Marcus, as he felt the brothers took less money overall to stay together. But the NBA is a cold business. Check here for info on the original deals.
2. Markieff has said publically that he doesn't want to play with the Suns this season.
Morris spoke with Philly.com while back in his home town of Philadephia and said: "One thing for sure, I am not going to be [in Phoenix next season]," Morris said. "I've got to show up [for training camp] ... But it won't get that far ... I'm going to be out before then, should be." Whether or not that gets the Suns to trade him remains to be seen, but he clearly does not want to stay in Phoenix. Check here for the full story from Philly.com
3. Markieff would like to be traded to the Rockets or the Raptors if he has a choice.
Gambadoro has been all over this story, as he reported that Morris would prefer a deal to the Houston Rockets or Toronto Raptors if he is traded. Gambadoro writes that Morris has relationships with Kyle Lowry and James Harden and that he "doesn't care" where he goes, but that he doesn't want to play for the Suns. Morris reportedly "is not calling back teammates" and could be standoffish" if he is not traded by the time he needs to report to training camp. Gambadoro writes that the Suns may want to avoid all this by making a deal.
4. Marcus and Markieff have a legal issue off the court to deal with
Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris were charged with aggravated assault last season and it came after the two reportedly were involved in a fight at a recreational basketball game in January. The Morris brothers came out to say that they were not involved in the attack, but a grand jury in Arizona said there was enough evidence for a trial. The lawyer for the brothers is trying to get another grand jury in the case and according to the Arizona Republic, the incident "Prosecutors allege the twins and three others people beat up Erik Hood following a recreational basketball tournament in the Phoenix area last Jan. 24." The report goes on to say that the twins thought Hood was sending "inappropriate messages" to their mother. The whole situation has not yet been resolved.
5. Markieff Morris has an affordable contract to trade and he has played well over the past two years
Morris signed a deal worth $32 million over four years and this past season was the first year of that deal following the end of his rookie contract. Morris has $24 million guaranteed over the next three years and that makes his contract fairly affordable for teams, as he has been a productive player for the Suns. Morris averaged a career best 15 points and 6.2 rebounds last season and in the previous season he averaged 13 points and 6.0 rebounds. Morris has improved his PPG, rebounds per game and assists per game in each of the past four years.