Markieff Morris Denies 'Crazy' Rumor About Marcus, LeBron, Rich Paul, Clippers

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2019

FILE in this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, NBA players Markieff, left, and Marcus Morris arrive at Superior Court for the second day of their aggravated assault trial in Phoenix.  Jurors are expected to hear closing arguments Thursday, Sept. 28,  for the assault trial of the NBA players.  The Morris brothers are accused of helping three other people beat Erik Hood on Jan. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
Matt York/Associated Press

Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris denied a rumor Wednesday that LeBron James and Rich Paul conspired to prevent his twin brother, Marcus Morris, from signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Ben Maller of Fox Sports reported Tuesday that Marcus Morris and those around him are "incensed" that Paul had him turn down a lucrative free-agent offer from the Clippers and that it was a result of the "underhanded work of LeBron James' henchmen."

In response, Markieff had a good laugh and dismissed the rumor completely:

Marcus Morris reneged on a two-year, $20 million agreement with the San Antonio Spurs to sign a one-year, $15 million deal with the New York Knicks. Afterward, Morris parted ways with Paul and Klutch Sports Group.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported that Morris and his representation turned down a three-year, $41 million offer from the Los Angeles Clippers before settling for a one-year pact with New York.

That offer was later taken off the table when the Clippers acquired forward Maurice Harkless from the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a four-team trade.

The 29-year-old Morris enjoyed one of his best NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics in 2018-19, as he averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Morris would have been a quality addition to a Clippers team that signed Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George this offseason. The Clippers may already be the best defensive team in basketball with Leonard, George and Patrick Beverley, and Morris would have added to that, as he posted 6.0 defensive win shares last season.

Also, Morris would have been in direct competition with the James and Anthony Davis-led Los Angeles Lakers. Both James and Davis are represented by Paul, which is likely where the report derived from.

Morris will have a chance to re-enter free agency next offseason, but he is unlikely to vie for a championship in 2019-20 after signing with a Knicks team that went an NBA-worst 17-65 last season.

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