The Los Angeles Lakers have been connected to plenty of names in the buyout market, but it seems like they may have just found their guy. Markieff Morris agreed to a buyout with the Detroit Pistons earlier on Friday, and Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are “frontrunners” to sign the veteran forward:
Later on, we got some more details on the pursuit from Brad Turner of the L.A. Times and... Marcus Morris, Markieff’s brother:
The Lakers are a team Markieff Morris has interest in joining after his buyout from Detroit, sources. Morris plans to speak with Lakers soon. He also has interest in Toronto, Houston. Lakers had considered signing Morris last season if he was healthy. He signed with OKC instead.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 21, 2020
At #Clippers practice: Marcus Morris, newly of them Clippers, said if his brother Markeiff joins the Lakers, they’d probably live together in the same house.— Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) February 21, 2020
In case you, like me, sometimes get confused, we should clarify that Markieff is generally considered the worse of the two Morris twins. His brother Marcus is a bit more versatile, and was traded to the LA Clippers a few weeks ago. Should the Lakers sign Markieff, the brother vs. brother showdown might add a whole new dynamic to this cross-hall rivalry.
But despite not quite being the player his brother is, can Markieff still help the Lakers? He would seem to mostly add to their glut of bigs and not exactly give them the wing defender they need, but maybe he will have a bit more in the tank in that area while playing for a winning team. He is averaging 11 points per game while shooting 39.7% from 3-point range this season, and some of his other numbers at least suggest that he can aid the purple and gold in a few ways:
Some Synergy stats on Markieff Morris:— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) February 21, 2020
- 67th percentile in spot ups
- 80th percentile in catch and shoots
- 72nd percentile on no dribble jumpers
Morris’ shooting numbers this season:— Alex Regla (@AlexmRegla) February 21, 2020
C&S threes (165 attempts): 41.8%
Open (78 attempts): 42.3%
Wide Open (91 attempts): 38.5%
Two other things should be noted here: For one, if the Lakers want to add Markieff (or anyone else) they will have to cut one of their current players, with the seemingly the most logical candidate being guard Troy Daniels. Also, despite what the photo at the top of this post suggests, Markieff Morris is no longer represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, switching to Sam Permut of Roc Nation sports last summer after Paul stepped down as his brother Marcus’ agent.
This story will update with more information.