Markieff Morris demands trade from Suns
Markieff Morris wants out of Phoenix.
The Suns power forward said he feels disrespected by the way the team handled the July 9 trade of his twin and former teammate, Marcus Morris, to the Detroit Pistons. Now he is demanding a trade of his own.
The North Philadelphia native, who starred with his brother at Prep Charter and Kansas, is determined to be dealt.
"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 am not to going to be there at all."
In September 2014, Morris signed a four-year, $32 million contract extension that kicks in this season. His brother signed a four-year, $20 million extension. The two settled for less money than they would have received as free agents in order to remain teammates.
If Markieff refuses to play, the 6-foot-10, 245-pounder knows that the Suns can suspend him without pay if they're unwilling to release or trade him. He is scheduled to report to training camp at the end of September.
"I've got to show up. No question." said Morris, who is scheduled to make $8 million this season. "You can't do that. I will be a professional. Don't get me wrong.
"But it won't get that far. . . . I'm going to be out before then, should be."
The twins have been inseparable for most of their lives. Markieff went 13th overall to the Suns during the 2011 draft. Marcus went one slot later to the Houston Rockets.
The 6-foot-9 small forward struggled as a rookie in Houston, the first time that Markieff wasn't by his side. The two reunited when Marcus was traded to Phoenix in February 2013.
Of the latest deal, Markieff said he's not disappointed that the Suns traded his brother to the Pistons, where he is likely to get more opportunities to succeed. But he is disappointed in how the twins were notified.
They said they learned of the trade while on vacation out of the country with their girlfriends. Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, and Danny Granger were traded to the Pistons in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick.
The Morris twins believe those three players were shipped away to make room to lure free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to Phoenix. Aldridge signed with San Antonio.
However, there's a perception that Marcus was traded because the Suns grew tired of the twins' antics. They are accused of helping three others assault a man outside a Phoenix recreation center on Jan. 24. The twins pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony aggravated assault.
The Morrises' defense attorneys asked a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to return the case to a grand jury because they said prosecutors falsely presented information that led to an indictment.
The state has until Aug. 21 to respond to the motion.
Markieff Morris said he believes the trade had nothing to do with the court case. His brother is ready to move on.
"As far as I'm concerned, I never was a Phoenix Sun," Marcus said. "It's a new start for me. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to take care of business, expand my game and get the height I know I can get to."