Amid rumors suggesting that his twin brother, New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris, might be among the players getting moved ahead of next month's trade deadline, a new report is suggesting that Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris is attracting attention from the NBA's two Los Angeles-based teams, the Lakers and the Clippers.
On Saturday, Heavy's Sean Deveney cited unnamed league sources, noting that the Pistons, who are tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 14-26 record, are reportedly planning to make most of their veterans available for trade in the lead-up to the February 6 deadline. These individuals include the 30-year-old Morris, who appears to have piqued the interest of the Clippers and the Lakers, both of which have been rumored in recent weeks to be on the lookout for experienced role players who could help improve their chances of representing the Western Conference in this year's Finals.
As it stands, Markieff Morris would likely be "a lot easier" to trade than his brother Marcus, considering how he had recently signed an affordable two-year, $6.5 million contract and may have lost some value due to his recent injury struggles. The veteran NBA insider further suggested that the journeyman forward could potentially be acquired for a future first-round pick and a player on a "small contract."
As the second year of Morris' contract is a player option he could opt-out of, Deveney cautioned that there may be some teams -- not necessarily the Lakers or the Clippers -- that might be reluctant to surrender a first-round selection to acquire him. However, he also stressed that he could bring something valuable to the table with his combination of "interior toughness" and outside shooting.Talking about which Los Angeles team could be the better fit for Morris, Deveney opined that the Clippers might be the more ideal destination, given their need for a power forward who can space the floor with his shooting. He suggested that the organization might have to give up at least two young players, including shooting guard Jerome Robinson and rookie big man Mfiondu Kabengele, in order to acquire the former Kansas Jayhawks standout.
As for the Lakers, it was pointed out that the team, while in need of quality outside shooters, has "precious few" young talents -- and no draft picks for the next three years -- to surrender to the Pistons in a possible deal for Morris.
As of this writing, Morris has seen action in 31 games for Detroit, with averages of 10.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists and shooting clips of 47 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from three-point range, according to his Basketball-Reference page.