Markieff Morris Reportedly to Be Released by Pelicans After Wizards Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2018, file photo, Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris (5) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, in Detroit. The Washington Wizards say forward Markieff Morris will miss at least six weeks with a neck injury, the latest setback for one of the NBA’s most disappointing teams. The Wizards announced Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, that Morris was examined by a doctor in Dallas after dealing with neck and upper back stiffness since getting hit on the chin during a game on Dec. 16. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Markieff Morris' time with the New Orleans Pelicans has reportedly come to an end before he even stepped on the floor.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Pelicans will release the forward who is sidelined by a neck injury.

This comes after the Pelicans announced they traded Wesley Johnson to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Morris and a 2023 second-round draft pick prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.

While the 24-31 Pelicans did not trade Anthony Davis, they are in rebuilding mode after moving Nikola Mirotic to the Milwaukee Bucks, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.

It's not as if Morris was going to help them reach the playoffs in the daunting Western Conference this season, and he was set for unrestricted free agency following the 2018-19 campaign. He likely wasn't in the team's long-term plans even if he were healthy, and this gives him the chance to sign with a contender down the stretch.

Morris is averaging 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season behind 43.6 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent shooting from three-point range. He can battle on the glass at 6'10" and cause matchup problems with his ability to extend his game beyond the arc from the frontcourt.

The Kansas product is a solid defender as well and has held opponents to 1.4 percent worse shooting than their normal averages when he defends them this season, per NBA.com.

He also has 19 playoff games on his resume from his time with the Wizards and could add to that if he signs with a contender.

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