Markieff Morris in the past few days has expressed his desire to be traded from the Phoenix Suns, after his brother was traded earlier this offseason. Morris has been refusing to talk to anyone within the organization, even his fellow teammates. Although some will say this is just business, Morris viewed the trading of his brother as a slap in the face, as Morris took a payout to keep the tandem together. Although Morris could be used by every team in the league due to his style of play, this article will just look at the five possible destinations.
Dallas Mavericks: Dallas was one of the biggest losers of the 2015 NBA free agency period. This was due to DeAndre Jordan going against his word to return to the Los Angeles Clippers. After losing out on Jordan, Dallas decided to overpay for Wesley Matthews, who is a great two-way player, but not at the steep price of which Dallas paid. With all other key free agents signed to other teams, Dallas has been left in open water, with a high chance of missing the playoffs, and getting a lottery pick. Dallas does not want this outcome to come true, as their face of the franchise, Dirk Nowitzki only has a season or two left before he retires, and Dallas wants to get him one more championship. Morris will not be the guy to lead Dallas to another championship, but his ability to score, rebound, and defend will only help in the pursuit of making a championship run. Morris does have attitude problems, but in Dallas, surrounded by Nowitzki, Parsons, Matthews, and Barea, Morris should be kept in line, and therefore giving Dallas the best Morris can offer. Morris’s trade value is not very high right now, so a draft pick and low level player should be enough to acquire him for Dallas.
New York Knicks: Morris has not been linked with New York, but I think it is a great place for him to make an impact. New York, as everyone knows, is trying to make the playoffs after a historically bad year. With Anthony battling a nagging knee injury over the past few years, New York needs to look at help for him at the position. Acquiring Morris would either allow Anthony at the three or four, giving New York a decent starting five, or allow Morris off the bench, where he can use his relentless energy and strength to bully less skilled bench players, and provide New York with a deadly bench weapon. New York does not have a great locker room, and the bight lights may tempt Morris to lose focus on basketball, but this is a move New York has to look at making if they want any shot of the playoffs this year in the more competitive Eastern Conference.
Indiana Pacers: Indiana will be linked with tradeable power forwards all season, as their front court is very thin. With the recent news of Jordan Hill being arrested, and Indiana thinking about voiding his contract, that front court is even thinner. Adding Morris would allow for Paul George to stay at the small forward position, and still giving the Pacer’s a scoring threat down low. Indiana’s main reason to move George to power forward was to space the floor, but Morris still has the ability to hit a three ever now-and-then. With their first round pick, Myles Turner being timid about low-post play, Morris also excels down here with his strength and determination. Indiana might be the most desperate team for this position, and with the other options out there, only Taj Gibson comes to mind, who can be as good as Morris, and Chicago does not seem ready to part with him just yet. Morris’s addition would almost cement Indiana in the playoffs, as they would have a unique starting line-up, as well as a good veteran bench.
Miami Heat: The one location where Morris would not be a bonafide starter. Miami has had a great offseason, and many look to them as an upset team to win the Eastern Conference. Veteran additions such as, Stoudemire and Green, as well as drafting Justise Winslow, make Miami a deadly well-rounded team, with great depth. Miami’s biggest weakness is a tough low-post banger to hang with the likes of a Tristan Thompson or Taj Gibson. Morris would provide this much needed type of bench player in Miami, as well as giving Miami yet another dynamic scorer to add to their arsenal. Miami has the locker room pretense, and winning attitude to sedate any negative attitudes by Morris, therefore creating a great location for Morris to succeed. Miami has been looking to trade Chalmers and Anderson, and this is the type of deal that could make that happen for Miami. Phoenix would be able to use those two players at the trade deadline to acquire more picks in hopes of drafting a potential star, as they have had no look in free agency.
Houston Rockets: Houston does not have a huge need at the power forward, as Terrence Jones keeps developing into a better player, but Houston could look to add a more ready contributor in Morris, as they look to contend in the Western Conference. Houston has been an active team this offseason with key additions such as, Ty Lawson, and the retention of Patrick Beverley. As shown in the Western Conference finals, Houston was destroyed down-low, as they were not physical enough to compete with Draymond Green, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut. Morris brings a more physical style of play than Jones, giving Houston the ability to contend with Golden State, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City, who all have some sort of physical big man, you have to be able to counteract. An addition of Morris would cost Houston more depth, but a player such as, Jones, Ariza, or Beverley, should be able to get the job done. Houston has a good enough locker room and winning mentality to keep Morris and check. Houston has been making the right moves this summer, and if they could secure a player like Morris, they could easily become the favorites in the Western Conference.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17
Nice article, Mac. Markieff is pretty overlooked and underrated; plenty of teams can use his services.
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