NBA trades roundup: Markieff Morris dealt to Wizards
Washington — A week after scuffling with a teammate, forward Markieff Morris — the twin brother of Pistons forward Marcus Morris — was traded Thursday by the free-falling Suns to the Wizards, a team hoping to boost its chances of making the NBA postseason.
Phoenix received a first-round draft pick and forwards Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair in exchange for the 6-foot-10, 245-pound Morris.
Speaking to reporters while riding a hoverboard on his way out of the Suns arena Thursday, Morris expressed his thanks to the team and said: “I’m just ready to move on.”
The move ends a tumultuous tenure in Phoenix for Morris, who was suspended for two games in December after throwing a towel at since-fired coach Jeff Hornacek during a game.
And then, during a first-quarter timeout in the most recent Suns game, a 112-104 home loss to the league-leading Warriors last week, Morris got into a physical confrontation with Archie Goodwin on the sideline, exchanging shoves.
“Sometimes little brothers and big brothers get into it,” Morris said that night. “That’s what happened — wrong place, wrong time.”
In his fifth NBA season, all with Phoenix, Morris is third on the team in scoring at 11.6 points and he also is averaging 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Last season was his best in the league, averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds. He also tied with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook for the most technicals in the NBA at 15.
Morris’ contract is worth $8 million per year.
The 26-year-old Morris offers frontcourt versatility and athleticism for the Wizards, who entered their first game after the All-Star break — a 103-89 home victory over the Jazz on Thursday night — with only a 23-28 record and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
Led by All-Star point guard John Wall, Washington made the postseason each of the past two years, but has struggled at the defensive end as it has tried to become more of a small-ball team. The Wizards won three of their last 10 games heading into the break.
The Suns, meanwhile, are in far worse shape.
They’ve lost nine games in a row, and 24 of their last 26.
Morris never seemed to get over being upset about the Suns trading his twin to the Pistons in the offseason, making clear that he wanted to leave Phoenix, too.
Needing to add depth, defense and another piece to perhaps help the Cavaliers beat the Warriors in June, Cleveland acquired forward Channing Frye from Orlando in exchange for popular center Anderson Varejao in a three-team trade.
The Cavaliers sent Varejao and a protected future first-round pick to the Trail Blazers for a second-round pick. The Cavaliers then traded that pick and guard Jared Cunningham to the Magic for Frye.
Frye isn’t much of an upgrade. He’s averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Magic. The 6-foot-11 Frye, however, does have decent range and is shooting 40 percent on 3-pointers.
... The Trail Blazers went on to acquire guard Brian Roberts and a future second-round pick from the Heat.
Portland, which also waived guard Tim Frazier, obtained four-year veteran Roberts for cash considerations. The 30-year-old was traded to Miami from Charlotte on Tuesday and never played for the Heat.
... The Grizzlies traded forward Jeff Green to the Clippers for guard Lance Stephenson and a future protected first-round draft pick.
... Steve Novak’s agent says the Nuggets have agreed to send shooting guard Randy Foye to the Thunder for Novak and D.J. Augustin.
... The Jazz announced they acquired point guard Shelvin Mack from the Hawks in a three-team deal. Chicago receives a second-round pick from Utah and guard Justin Holliday from Atlanta. Atlanta receives guard Kirk Hinrich from Chicago.
... The Pelicans have acquired forward Jarnell Stokes and cash from the Heat in exchange for a future second-round pick.