Markieff Morris Fined $10K for Expressing Desire to be Traded by Suns

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2015

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 8: Isaiah Thomas #3, Markieff Morris #11 and Marcus Morris #15 of the Phoenix Suns face off against the Sacramento Kings on February 8, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. 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 Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The NBA has fined Markieff Morris $10,000 for making "a public statement detrimental to the (league)" following his tweet that he'd no longer be a member of the Phoenix Suns at the start of the 2015-16 season, per Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk, citing a release from the league.  

The relationship between Morris and the Suns has been fractured ever since the team traded his brother, Marcus, to the Detroit Pistons earlier in the summer. Marcus Morris was particularly vocal about his displeasure with the Phoenix organization, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com): "Everybody knew how bad I wanted to play with my brother. Phoenix knew. For them to trade me without consent or telling or anything like that was kind of like a, I would say slap in the face, because of the contract I took from those guys and the money I took from them. That was kind of a slap in the face."

Then in August, Markieff drew a line in the sand and told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he wanted out of Phoenix: "One thing for sure, I am not going to be there. If you want to put that out there, you can put that out. I don't give a [freak]. I am not going to be there at all. That's just what it is."

On Sept. 3, Morris doubled down on his stance:

Keef Morris @Keefmorris

My future will not be in Phoenix.... #thatisall #backtothegrind #FOE

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The Suns are undoubtedly in a tough position.

They cannot simply offload Morris after he was one of their better players last year. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per night, while Phoenix had a minus-5.4 net rating with him off of the court, per NBA.com. Given the fact they have little bargaining position, the Suns couldn't get an equal return for Morris in a trade, and no free agent still available is even comparable to Morris in terms of skill.

Phoenix will hope Morris' anger subsides before the regular season begins in October. Should he continue to be a disruptive presence, though, management may be forced to take drastic action and bite the bullet, similar to the Detroit Pistons' waiving of Josh Smith last year.


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