After months of internal turmoil, the Phoenix Suns have finally traded away Markieff Morris shortly before the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline.
Morris has been upset with the Phoenix Suns organization since the summer when they traded his brother, Marcus, to the Detroit Pistons in order to clear cap space to make a run at LaMarcus Aldridge. The thought was that the Suns would keep Markieff following the Jeff Hornacek firing a few weeks ago, but 15 minutes before the trade deadline hit on Thursday Morris was on the move to the east coast.
Morris is averaging 11.6 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game, while playing 24.8 minutes per game this season. Since the Hornacek firing, Morris has averaged 20.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.0 steals while playing nearly 35 minutes per night. Morris definitely did his part in increasing his trade value before the All-Star break.
This trade is the best of both worlds for each of the clubs involved.
Phoenix finally gets rid of it’s locker room problem while landing two serviceable bigs and a first round pick. Phoenix is obviously not going anywhere this season, but Humphries and Blair will each be under contract next year for $4.6 million and $2 million respectively. Meanwhile, Morris will make $7.4 million, $8.0 million, and $8.6 million over the next three years. This move essentially allows the Suns to be more flexible with the turn-over of their roster quicker than if they had Morris for another three years.
Currently, the Wizards sit just three games behind eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings and adding Morris may be just enough to push the club over the hump and land a playoff spot. Washington has the talent on their roster with players such as John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Marcin Gortat to make a push for the playoffs, but having a stretch-four is huge for their offense. Morris has been on fire as of late from the perimeter and will help clear out the lane for Wall to penetrate to get to the rim.
The Washington Wizards will play the Phoenix Suns in the valley on April 1st in Morris’ return to Phoenix. After receiving boos from the Phoenix faithful all season thus far, we should definitely expect louder boos for Markieff Morris in this contest.