NBA Free Agents 2019: Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat Among 13 to Clear Waivers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 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

A number of NBA veterans hit the free-agent market Sunday after officially clearing waivers.

Paul Garcia of Project Spurs shared the full list, which is headlined by Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat, Zach Randolph and Greg Monroe. All of the players are eligible to sign contracts with new teams:

The buyout market is routinely a route by which cash-strapped teams can improve their rosters for the stretch run of the season. The Indiana Pacers made their signing of Wesley Matthews official Sunday, and the Detroit Pistons confirmed they added Wayne Ellington on Saturday.

Morris is a wild card given his injury situation. The Washington Wizards announced on Jan. 3 he had been diagnosed with transient cervical neuropraxia and ruled out for at least six weeks. Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Thursday that Morris planned to receive a second opinion on his neck injury.

The 29-year-old is averaging 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds and shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. He could be useful off the bench for a contending team.

Gortat and Monroe fall into the same boat. They're offense-minded players whose best days are behind them. Gortat averaged 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Los Angeles Clippers, while Monroe posted 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 38 games with the Toronto Raptors.

Gortat and Monroe's poor defense would also make them liabilities on the court late in games. Monroe (28) seems likelier to get another shot before the older Gortat (34), but neither would add much value at this point in the year.

Randolph, meanwhile, hasn't even appeared in a game after the Sacramento Kings decided instead to focus on their younger frontcourt players. He could be this year's version of Kendrick Perkins, an experienced veteran whose role is largely that of a locker room leader and on-court enforcer.

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