Lakers Rumors: Markieff Morris Expected to Sign LA Contract After Pistons Buyout

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2020

Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris (8) handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Veteran forward Markieff Morris reportedly plans to sign a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Charania reported earlier Friday that Morris and the Detroit Pistons had come to terms on a contract buyout, making him a free agent.

Before Charania reported on Morris' signing, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times reported that Morris had interest in the Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets.

The Lakers were quiet on the trade front leading up to the deadline, and retired point guard Darren Collison opted to remain retired rather than signing with L.A., so the expectation was that the Lakers would be active on the buyout market.

With Morris reportedly joining the Lakers, there will be a Morris twins reunion of sorts in L.A. since the rival Los Angeles Clippers acquired Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks earlier this month.

Markieff is a 31-year-old former University of Kansas standout who is in the midst of his ninth NBA season. He started with the Phoenix Suns before bouncing around to the Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Pistons signed Morris to a two-year deal with a player option for 2020-21 during the offseason, but with Detroit possibly angling toward a rebuild at 19-39 this season, he became expendable.

Morris is averaging 11.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 22.5 minutes per game over 44 contests this season. For his career, Morris owns averages of 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 623 games.

On a per-36-minute basis, Morris' 17.7 points per game are the second-highest mark of his career, which speaks to his efficiency.

The Lakers are the top team in the Western Conference at 41-12 thanks largely to the dominance of superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

In addition to James and Davis, though, the Lakers possess a versatile supporting cast that includes the likes of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard.

Morris' ability to play both forward spots, his rebounding skills and hard-nosed defense would seemingly make him an ideal fit for a Lakers team with designs on winning a championship.

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