In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer Tuesday, Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris got straight to the point: he has no intention of playing in Phoenix next season, and the Suns should trade him sooner rather than later.
“One thing for sure, I am not going to be there,” Morris told Inquirer reporter Keith Pompey. “If you want to put that out there, you can put that out. I don’t give a fuck. I am not going to be there at all. That’s just what it is.”
Morris claims he’s mad about how the Suns traded his brother Marcus to Detroit. Markieff is the longest-tenured Sun, and feels he deserved a heads-up that Marcus was being traded, and reassurances that the Suns viewed him as their power forward of the future. Instead, Markieff learned about the trade while on vacation with Marcus and their girlfriends, and believes Marcus (along with Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger) was traded to free up cap space to lure free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to take his job.
It’s been a trying 2015 for the Morris twins. In January they allegedly beat a man outside of a Phoenix rec center, for which they were charged with aggravated assault. Their head coach became so exasperated by his team picking up repeated technical fouls (Markieff finished the year with 15, second most in the NBA, while Marcus was called for nine) that he instituted a technical foul policy that banned players for a game if they were called for one. And of course Marcus was traded to Detroit.
Markieff isn’t dumb, and knows that failing to report would cost his money, which is why he plans to be a “professional” about his conviction not to play in Phoenix next season:
“I’ve got to show up. No question.” said Markieff Morris, who is scheduled to make $8 million this season. “You can’t do that. I will be a professional. Don’t get me wrong.
“But it won’t get that far. … I’m going to be out before then, should be.”
Phoenix had something good going. Two seasons ago their front office basically planned to tank, but rookie coach Jeff Hornacek was surprisingly capable and a deep bench of fun players led the team to a 48-34 record. P.J. Tucker, Eric Bledsoe, and Markieff are the only big contributors from that team left, however, as GM Ryan McDonough has flipped through players like trading cards in an attempt to find a winning combination. But they’re still stuck as somewhere between the 7th and 10th best team in the West, and they’re not going to get any better trading Markieff for pennies on the dollar.