Last summer, Suns forwards and twins, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, took slight discounts to both stay in Phoenix on four-year extensions. The twins have played together since prep school, attending the Kansas together and then catching on together with Phoenix in the NBA.
But this summer, the Phoenix Suns traded Marcus Morris to Detroit to free up the cap space for their run at LaMarcus Aldridge. That obviously didn’t work out, with LMA going home to Texas with the Spurs, and Marcus was outspoken about his disgust at the move, calling it a “slap in the face.”
The roster shift to open up cap space for Aldridge meant Phoenix was looking for an upgrade at power forward, the position Markieff Morris plays. The trade of his brother, and the idea they didn’t want him as badly as Aldridge, likely took a toll on Kieff, who promptly cut off all communication with Suns staff and his fellow teammates.
Now Markieff Morris tells tells the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey he wants out of Phoenix before training camps open in October for the 2015-16 season:
“One thing for sure, I am not going to be there,” Morris said Tuesday after a morning workout at Competitive Edge Sports in King of Prussia.
“If you want to put that out there, you can put that out. ” he added. “I don’t give a [freak]. I am not going to be there at all. That’s just what it is.”
But Markieff Morris doesn’t really want out of Phoenix because his brother was traded; he feels his twin will actually get more opportunities in Detroit.
No, it’s more the disrespect the Suns showed by the way they notified the twins of the trade during the July moratorium. Kieff and Marcus say were informed when they were on vacation with their girlfriends.
“If you are going to do something, do it,” Markieff Morris said. “The GM, I’ve been there longer than him, the coaches, everybody. I’ve been there the longest, and I don’t get the respect to be like, ‘Yo Keef, we are going to trade your brother. You are our future power forward.’ I’m the future power forward. I’m the premier player of the team. … That’s just how business is done I guess.”
Despite the rationale behind the trade demand — “I’ve got to show up. No question,” Markieff adds — he’s slated to earn $8 million next season and doesn’t want to forfeit that by being absent if the Suns don’t find any takers before then.
“You can’t do that. I will be a professional. Don’t get me wrong,” Kieff tells Pompey. “But it won’t get that far. … I’m going to be out before then, should be.”
However it plays out, the Suns have tumbled since their darling of a 2013-14 season under then-rookie head coach Jeff Hornacek almost slipped them into the difficult Western Conference Playoffs. Since then, there have been reports of Kieff and the former Jazz guard not getting along, and then there was the alleged assault the Morris twins and three others participated in outside of a Phoenix recreation center in January. The twins pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony aggravated assault at the time.
But this summer, they feel the Suns assaulted their sense of honor, and now Markieff is looking for a change of scenery. At $8 million, his deal looks paltry in lieu of the rising salary cap, but dealing him might prove tricky if teams are gun shy following his assault charge and the very outspoken way he’s trying to leave Phoenix.