Markieff Morris has only appeared in 10 games for the Miami Heat this season. Back on Nov. 8, Morris committed a hard foul on Nikola Jokic late in a game against the Denver Nuggets. Jokic wasn’t a fan of the foul, so as Morris started to walk away, the reigning league MVP ran up to him and shoved him from behind. A fracas broke out involving the two teams, and eventually, Jokic was handed a one-game suspension by the NBA.
The incident drew a ton of attention, both because the Inside the NBA crew defended Jokic and Jokic’s brothers made clear to Marcus Morris that they wouldn’t put up with him trying to get any measure of revenge. The whole thing is in the past now, but Morris has still not played basketball in quite some time. And apparently, it does not sound like we’re going to see him any time soon.
According to Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Morris wants to play and believes he is at a place where he can do that. The issue is the Heat just straight up will not clear him and have not said whether or not he’ll be able to play again this year.
Morris’ injury — sustained in that Nov. 8 game in Denver — was termed “whiplash” by the Heat. The Heat is now listing him as out because of a “return to competitive reconditioning.” But the team has declined to discuss his status, what he has been cleared to do physically or whether he will play again this season.
The Heat’s specific medical concern with Morris isn’t clear, but the sources said it was significant enough to make the Heat uneasy about clearing him to play, at least to this point, and significant enough to leave the team concerned about liability issues.
As the Herald pointed out, Morris has dealt with a neck injury in the past. The veteran forward joined the Heat as a free agent this past offseason and looked like a snug fit on the roster, averaging 7.7 points per game off the bench while connecting on 36.4 percent of his threes.