August 18, 2019

BREAKING: Washington Wizards trade for PF Markieff Morris at Trade Deadline

(Photo by: Rick Scuteri/ Associated Press)

(Photo by: Rick Scuteri/ Associated Press)

The Washington Wizards traded a protected, applicable to picks 1-9, first-round pick as well as the expiring contracts of Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair to the Phoenix Suns for stretch-four forward Markieff Morris, 26.

Morris (6-10, 245) was the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and has averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds during his career. The talent has never been in question as he can be a serviceable stretch-four option, but is attitude is of greatest concern. Morris recently was seen choking teammate Archie Goodwin on the Suns bench after previously throwing a towel at his then head coach, Jeff Hornacek.

Over a year ago, Morris received a four-year, $32 million extension from the Suns so he will be a bargain for the rest of this year and two more season at around $8 million a year. Considering the increase in salary cap with the new NBA television deal, that is quite economical. This deal also indicates that Washington is using up money that they otherwise would try to lure Kevin Durant home with this summer. Again the problem is whether Morris can keep it together off the court.

The Wizards are currently 23-28 and sitting in 10th place in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. With both the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons, the two teams directly ahead of Washington, making moves to get better, Ernie Grunfeld may have felt pressured to do the same.

With the move, the Wizards opened up an additional roster spot which they could use to buyout a player and/or sign somebody who is waived after a trade (i.e. Anderson Varejao).

After a history of improving the locker room dynamics through addition by subtraction (Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, etc.), this move does not fall in line with the rest.

Morris also played with Washington’s current best stretch-four option Jared Dudley during the well-traveled veteran’s tenure in Phoenix. Morris was also a rookie when center Marcin Gortat was with the Suns. Gortat kidded about a possible reunion. It was a similar protected first round pick to the Suns that brought the Polish Machine to the Nation’s Capital two years ago.

https://twitter.com/MGortat/status/700422811739942913

Gortat also seems to believe that the change of scenery will do Morris well given his attitude issues.

Nobody knew of this trade in the works as both Humphries and Blair were at Thursday’s shootaround in preparation for the Utah Jazz. Center Marcin Gortat had the following to say about losing two teammates.

If Morris can keep it together on the court this trade could end up being worthwhile. Otherwise, Ernie Grunfeld may have just shown himself the door in a fruitless attempt to save his job.

Morris will likely make his Washington Wizards debut tomorrow against the Detroit Pistons and his twin brother Marcus, who he wished to play along with during his demand for a trade.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

Trackbacks

  1. […] after making waves around the league by acquiring Markieff Morris, the Washington Wizards had to reset their focus on the Utah Jazz. In a makeup game that was […]

  2. […] Orlando Magic at the trade deadline yesterday, which may have pressure Ernie Grunfeld to make a counter move. Markieff Morris was active in his first game since arriving in the area and told the media he […]

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