NBA trade rumors have surrounded Markieff Morris from the moment that the Phoenix Suns find a new home for his brother. Morris had grown disenchanted with the organization because they traded away his twin brother, Marcus Morris, to the Detroit Pistons. According to ESPN, that wish was finally granted today when the Washington Wizards took a major gamble and traded for Morris.
Whenever a player demands a trade from the team and it gets leaked out to the public, that puts the general manager into a very tough spot. He knows that a deal needs to be made because the roster spot should not be wasted. That partially cost Jeff Hornacek his job as the Phoenix Suns head coach. NBA executives are also aware that their peers will not be offering up a lot of goods in a trade because they know that you’re being forced into a move.
Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough lucked out when there was a good amount of interest in Markieff Morris. That enabled him to wait for the best offer. Wanting badly to get back into the hunt for the eight spot in the NBA Playoffs, Washington Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld decided to step up to the plate. He gave McDonough more than what anyone else was willing to sacrifice so that his team can contend this year.
The Washington Wizards gave up Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair, and a first round draft pick in exchange for Markieff Morris. The draft pick is protected in case the season goes south for the Wizards. NBA general managers are finding it harder and harder to get their peers to give up first round draft picks, especially with contracts skyrocketing due to the salary cap being increased.
DeJuan Blair is going to be given a release from the Phoenix Suns. This move actually turned out pretty good for the former Pittsburgh Panthers star. Blair is a power forward that can play a little bit of center because of 270-pound frame. He can be a pretty solid backup big man, as evident by his short stint with the San Antonio Spurs. With injuries a normal thing in the NBA, Blair should be able to find another team to give him a contract.
Just like with DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries is a better player than people think. It’s just that the Washington Wizards play a small ball lineup and the roster already contains Nene Hilario, Marcin Gortat, and Drew Gooden. Humphries has been a starter in the NBA before. He might even take over the starting power forward spot that is being vacated by Markieff Morris due to the trade going down today.
For the Washington Wizards, a starting job isn’t necessarily guaranteed for Markieff Morris. The team has been pleased with Jared Dudley as their starter. At six-foot, seven-inches, 220-pounds, Dudley is considered small for the position, but he puts in the effort on defense, so it’s not that much of a mismatch. The Wizards love that Dudley is shooting 46.6 percent from the beyond the three point line, which opens things up for John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Marcin Gortat.
Markieff Morris is shooting just 28.9 percent from beyond the three point line, so he’s not going to be able to open up the floor like Jared Dudley can. However, he brings a decent mid-range jumper and plenty of size. At six-foot, 10-inches, and 240 pounds, Morris wouldn’t be pushed around as much on defense, especially when he’s motivated and engaged. The Washington Wizards hope that he is.
[Featured Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]