Nets Rumors: Markieff Morris Was Recruited by Joe Tsai Ahead of Contract Signing

Erin WalshSeptember 18, 2022

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 19: Markieff Morris #8 of the Miami Heat smiles before the game against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 1 Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai personally recruited veteran Markieff Morris to the franchise this summer, per NBA insider Marc Stein.

Morris signed a one-year, $2.9 million non-guaranteed contract with the Nets earlier this month.

"The Nets were desperate to add a veteran who could command the respect of stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and believe Morris has the gravitas to speak up when necessary like he did in Los Angeles alongside James and Davis," Stein wrote.

During his tenure with the Lakers during the 2019-20 campaign, Morris earned the respect of James and Davis by stepping up and speaking his mind.

The 33-year-old appeared in 14 regular-season games for the franchise, averaging 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds off the bench. In 21 playoff games off the bench, he averaged 5.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist.

Morris helped the Lakers win the NBA title in 2020, so it's reasonable to believe Tsai is hoping he can play a similar role in Brooklyn in 2022-23 and help the franchise get over the hump.

With the return of Ben Simmons alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this coming season, the Nets have a bona fide big three. The franchise also has key role players in Joe Harris, Patty Mills and Seth Curry.

In addition, the Nets signed T.J. Warren and Royce O'Neale in the offseason to provide some added depth off the bench.

All of these factors could contribute to the Nets being one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference in 2022-23. However, it won't be easy for the franchise to compete with the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers for one of the top spots.

In addition, a key to Brooklyn winning a title will be the health of Durant, Irving and Simmons, who have had their fair share of injuries over the past couple of seasons. If they can remain healthy, they should be able to compete with the best teams in the East.