The NBA trade deadline’s biggest question mark revolves around the Phoenix Suns and embattled forward Markieff Morris.
Morris has a reputation as a disgruntled employee, which makes sense after he demanded a trade due to the team trading his twin brother, Marcus. There was the whole towel-throwing incident, too. To make matters worse, the Suns haven’t exactly given Morris consistent playing time this year, nor has he returned the favor with consistent play.
Yet according to Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com, the Suns don’t seem too keen on the idea of a Morris trade, both in the short and long term. Then again, rumblings suggest the right offer might just encourage the front office to unload Morris and be done with the whole ordeal:
Sources close to the Suns say that they are not going to make a bad deal just to force Morris off the roster, but as the deadline gets closer there is an increasing sense around the league that Phoenix might blink on a deal just to remove the problem from their equation.
Kyler goes on to note the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and Cleveland Cavaliers as teams who have found themselves linked to Morris this season, though there’s no traction there now.
Regardless, the Suns are clearly doing their best to showcase Morris after inserting him back into the starting lineup. He’s doesn’t need a ton of playing time to make him an interesting trade chip, though, considering he’s 26 years old and is one year removed from the best season of his career. There, he averaged 31.5 minutes with 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.5 blocks, so it’s clear in a better environment he can produce as a starter.
Which isn’t to say the Suns aren’t a great environment, but trading a guy’s twin brother had to sort of seem like a bad idea. Now the Suns have to seriously think about unloading the remaining brother while they sit 13th in the Western Conference at 13-30 and continue to search for answers.
The problem for the Suns is return. They don’t want to let Morris go and get nothing solid in return. But that might be how this whole shindig plays out because it’s pretty obvious to the rest of the league the Suns wouldn’t mind unloading him. No team in their right mind would offer a superb return for Morris when a potential trade partner could not only point to Morris’ checkered history, but his miserable numbers this year. A contender can swoop in and low ball the Suns. While maybe not ideal, it’s a way for the Suns to put the whole situation behind them.
Keep a close eye on the Suns. It’s quite clear contenders and rebuilders alike have an eye on the situation, too. Phoenix blinking or winning the staring contest remains one of the hottest NBA trade deadline stories available.