Lakers Rumors: Markieff Morris Expected at Bubble 'Soon' After Excused Absence

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Markieff Morris #88 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up prior to a game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Credit: 2020 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Elise/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly practicing without forward Markieff Morris at Walt Disney World Resort because of an excused absence.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported the news Wednesday, noting Morris is expected to join the Purple and Gold in the near future in Orlando, Florida.

McMenamin pointed out Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is not commenting on practice performance, and the team is not allowing the media to observe practice. However, many observed Morris was not present in the in-house video and photographs the Lakers have released, sparking the inquiry.

Morris' brother, Marcus, may not be in Florida, either.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters he was unsure if Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac and Landry Shamet have joined the team or are in quarantine before being cleared to do so in the league's campus-like environment.

The Lakers signed Markieff Morris in February after he and the Detroit Pistons reached a contract buyout, and he has appeared in eight games for Los Angeles to this point. He averaged 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three-point range as a Laker, struggling to establish consistency on his new team before the season was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, he connected on 39.7 percent of his three-point attempts in 44 games for the Pistons this season, and he should be able to take advantage of openings created by playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the playoffs.

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He would also give Los Angeles some depth for the eight seeding games after Rajon Rondo suffered a broken thumb during practice this past weekend and Avery Bradley opted out of the league's restart plans.

The Lakers' first game back is scheduled for July 30 against the Clippers.

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