Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris' relationship with the organization has been the subject of some attention since the franchise traded away his brother Marcus in the offseason, and the big man could be on his way out, too.
Continue for updates.
Pelicans Interested in Morris
Tuesday, Dec. 8
The New Orleans Pelicans and Suns had preliminary trade talks, as the Pelicans are interested in pairing Morris with superstar Anthony Davis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.
Rockets Reportedly Interested in Morris
Monday, Dec. 7
Head coach Jeff Hornacek kept Morris on the bench for the entirety of Phoenix's 95-93 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, and Marc Stein of ESPN.com noted the Rockets are interested in the forward in the aftermath.
Change of Scenery Could Benefit Morris
Morris is in the first year of a four-year contract extension that he signed in 2014, but there was some tension when the Suns traded his brother to the Detroit Pistons in the offseason. Morris did not mince words after the trade when talking about his own future with Phoenix, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
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've got to show up. No question. 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.
While the Suns did not trade Morris after his comments during the summer, he could be on the move in the near future.
He is only 26 years old and appeared to turn the corner last season, when he played a career-high 31.5 minutes per night. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and started every contest for the Suns. He didn't touch the court in Sunday’s contest, but he is averaging 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 2015-16.
However, he is only shooting 39.0 percent from the floor, compared to the 46.5 percent mark he posted in 2014-15.
His brother suggested in November there could be a reason for those struggles, per Stein: "He just don't look comfortable. He don't look too excited. I feel like I'm enjoying where I'm at. I hope he goes somewhere where he's happy, too, so we both can play basketball, get back to playing normal."
Maybe Morris would be happy with the Rockets, even though they are in the midst of a miserable start to the season at 10-11 after they reached the Western Conference Finals in 2014-15. Many saw Houston as a title contender coming into the new campaign, and there is plenty of time to right the ship.
As of Sunday, the Rockets were 21st in the league in rebounding differential, according to ESPN.com, and a dismal 28th in points allowed per game. Morris would give them a proven rebounder who can also bolster the interior defense and improve both of those statistics.
Last season, Morris forced opponents to shoot 1.2 percent worse from the field within 10 feet of the basket than their normal averages, per NBA.com. The former Kansas Jayhawks star could slide in alongside Dwight Howard and give Houston another body down low for depth, defense and rebounding purposes as it looks to turn its 2015-16 campaign around.