The Los Angeles Lakers will look a lot different than they did last season following the eventful offseason they’ve had, but there will still be a handful of familiar faces, including Markieff Morris, who announced he was re-upping with the Lakers on Monday.
Morris didn’t join the team until after the trade deadline in February, but it didn’t take too long for him to fit in on or off the court. In the playoffs, Morris averaged 5.9 points per game while shooting 42% from behind the arc. He also gave the Lakers a little extra toughness on the defensive glass.
Those things apparently made him a favorite of Anthony Davis, who, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, made it known that he wanted Morris back (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“I think the market was getting really, really dry for (Morris) and some players, so in this case Markieff knew the best place for him was with the Lakers, but how about this? There is a guy named Anthony Davis who wanted him back. He wanted him back because he’s tough, because he plays defense, he rebounds, he can shoot the three, open up the court and again he’s a versatile player. One thing the Lakers really loved having and have had success with is players who can play offense and play defense, and don’t mind being a good teammate and in the locker room.”
What’s funny about Davis wanting Morris back is that Morris’s ability to space the floor makes it more tempting for Frank Vogel to play Davis at center, something Davis prefers not to do. It’s also funny because Davis technically hasn’t re-signed with the Lakers yet, so he’s helping push players back to a team he doesn’t even play for. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is.
It’s hard to project where Morris is going to fit into Vogel’s rotation next season because there are so many roster spots that need to be filled, but if he’s knocking down 3-pointers at the rate he did in the playoffs while still being aggressive on the defensive end, he’ll definitely see the floor plenty.