The Phoenix Suns and big man Markieff Morris are headed for an ugly divorce. The team traded his twin brother Marcus Morris away to the Detroit Pistons not too long ago, and things got even worse when the team added Tyson Chandler and Mirza Teletovic in free agency. Whether the writing was on the wall or not that the Suns were preparing to part ways with both Morris brothers, the signs continue to point to things heading in that direction.
— Burns and Gambo (@BurnsAndGambo) August 6, 2015
It remains to be seen if the Suns can mend the fences, but with Morris battling an ongoing legal issue and his brother already being traded out of the desert, they may not want to. That being said, the versatile Morris is still a valuable trade chip, so it begs the question – where could he get dealt? Let’s take a look at seven realistic landing spots if the situation does end up in Markieff Morris being traded:
Dallas missed out on DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge, so they could be still picking up the pieces as they prepare for the 2015-16 NBA season. Their lone weakness remains down low and the addition of Morris could give them major flexibility at the four and the five. Morris leaves something to be desired as a defender, but can clean the glass and knows how to produce offense. He’d fit in great with the Mavs if he can turn his attitude around, although compensation could be tricky. Dallas simply doesn’t have a ton of assets to unload. This move would have to be all about finding someone to unload Morris on.
Marcus Morris is in Detroit, so why not his brother now, too? It remains to be seen if the Pistons would want both Morris brothers in town, but there is no denying Markieff Morris would fit what they want to do. With Greg Monroe in Milwaukee, the Pistons still have somewhat of a need at the four and Morris could help fill that.
Denver unloaded Ty Lawson recently and is said to be listening on just about every player on their roster. Kenneth Faried is a huge name they’d love to get rid of, while Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari also are in the mix to get traded. Morris to Denver for any combination of those players would be a nice splash move that would help both teams a great deal.
The Rockets have two solid power forwards in Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas, but neither are defensive stalwarts or quite as polished offensively as Markieef Morris. Houston would probably be willing to part with Jones and maybe a pick or two to land Morris, who is a clear upgrade and the stretch four they’ve been lacking.
Kostas Koufos is currently listed as the Kings’ top power forward, and unless they plan on moving Rudy Gay to the four spot full-time, they still have work to do down low. The Kings really have three centers trying to play the two main positions in the paint right now, and acquiring someone with the skill-set of Morris could really help them out. Compensation could be an issue, but giving away Darren Collison and maybe Omri Casspi would be a start.
Portland Trail Blazers
After losing LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers are walking that fine line between competing and dropping out of the playoffs. Landing a nice replacement big man like Morris could push them over the line and back into the playoff discussion. Unlike a lot of the other teams, they have young talent and some assets to trade if they feel Morris helps get them back in contention.
One key argument is the Suns may not want to trade with any of these Western Conference teams. If that’s true, the Pistons and the Raptors might be two of the most likely trade destinations for Markieff Morris. Toronto could have a serious issue at the four spot after losing both Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough, as they’re suddenly now all in on Patrick Patterson as a starter. Landing a versatile four like Morris could strengthen their starting five, while also bolstering their depth down low.
Where will Morris ultimately wind up is anyone’s guess. The odds point to Phoenix dealing him out of the conference, however, and if the Pistons are interested I can see that trade getting worked out before the season begins.