Los Angeles Lakers forward Markieff Morris arrived at Disney World on Tuesday, and after two negative coronavirus tests can now join his teammates in the NBA bubble, the team announced on Thursday morning.
Morris appeared in eight games for the Lakers after being acquired off of the buyout market in February, averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds while making 14 of his 36 shots so far. He was the last Laker to arrive in the bubble, and it’s still not publicly known why he was missing beyond leaks that the team had excused his absence.
It is unclear if Morris will be able to join the team’s scrimmage against the Dallas Mavericks at 4:00 p.m. PST today. He is eligible to play after clearing quarantine, but given that he has not practiced with the team all week, the Lakers may opt to give him a few days to acclimate before throwing him out there. If he does suit up, he surely won’t play a ton of minutes.
Not a huge surprise but it’s unlikely Markieff Morris will play tonight for the Lakers. Frank Vogel said Tuesday that the team would try to bring him on at an appropriate pace.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) July 23, 2020
With Morris in tow, the Lakers now have their full roster in the NBA bubble (outside of Rajon Rondo, who will miss at least a few more weeks after thumb surgery and has not arrived back in Disney World). The team will have a little less time to get him acclimated than they would have otherwise, but at the very least he had a bit of time with the Lakers before the season was suspended, so he will need less time to adjust to his new teammates than the team’s other two new additions, J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters.
But with three preseason games and eight seeding round games (in addition to what will likely be an easy first round playoff series), the Lakers also have plenty of time to get everyone on the same page. Now that Morris is back, that process can begin in earnest.