Attention All NBA General Managers
*Photo via USA Today
Attention All NBA General Managers: NEVER Allow Twin Brothers To Play Together On Your Team. If you're thinking about -- do yourself a favor -- consult with Phoenix Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough first. Okay, so I’m half kidding -- but in all seriousness -- teaming twin brothers together has turned out to be a real headache for the Phoenix Suns. Last July, while on vacation, Marcus Morris received the phone call to notify him that he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. And the relationship between his brother Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns front office has been downhill ever since.
The Suns organization signed the twins to a 52 million-dollar contract (to split between the two of them) in September of 2014, and the brothers believed this to be the deal that would keep them together for the next four years. They struggled apart during their rookie seasons, so when Marcus was acquired by the Suns -- to join brother Markieff -- it appeared to be a match made in heaven.
Marcus would help to elevate Markieff’s game, as the two would play fluently on the court together for two full seasons. And then it all fell apart. As the saying goes…life can change on a dime, and when felony aggravated assault charges were filed against the Morris's in April of 2015, it did for them. This would mark the beginning of the end of their time together in Phoenix.
*Photo via Getty Images
Marcus Morris is now a Detroit Piston, and while he's had much to say about Suns fans, ex-teammates, and the Phoenix Suns organization, he seems to be fitting in nicely in the Motor City. Meanwhile, Markieff Morris is still a Phoenix Sun, and has made it clear that he wants to be traded. As the trade rumors swirl, a league rule is preventing a handful of players from being eligible to trade until January 15th. It's only speculative, but this appears to be the reason Morris remains in a Suns uniform.
On the court, his role has been reduced to bench play, behind forwards Mirza Teletovic and Jon Leuer, while missing seven games with a knee sprain and a sinus infection. Morris finally returned to the court last Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans, and did help the Suns get a win. He scored 13 points in 16 minutes, and knocked down both of his three-point field goal attempts.
Since the start of the season, the consensual feeling about Markieff Morris being in a Suns uniform seems to be one of awkwardness. He was very straightforward on media day, and declined questions related to his discussions with the front office. His production is down from last season’s 15 points and six rebounds per game, on 50 percent shooting, to 11 points and five rebounds per game, on 38 percent shooting.
While Leuer and Teletovic have filled in nicely for Morris, the bigger questions now become what is his trade value, and will he be a distraction for the next three weeks? With the right team, Markieff Morris will surely return to last year’s form. He's clearly had trouble with his focus and desire in Phoenix, and has been ready to move on. At this point, it appears the Suns organization is ready to move him. It must feel very much like going through the motions for both sides, but clearly he and the Suns will be better off come mid-January. Until then, by all indications, Markieff Morris will continue to conduct himself professionally and contribute on the court when called upon.
Stats courtesy of b-ball reference