Detroit — The Pistons’ remodel is turning into a full-fledged makeover.
In a two-week span, they’ve unloaded two of their biggest contracts and made a commitment toward rebuilding. Add another name to the list.
The Pistons reached a buyout agreement with forward Markieff Morris on Friday and have requested waivers. If he clears waivers, he could be headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
In 44 games this season, Morris posted 11 points and 3.9 rebounds, shot 40 percent on 3-pointers and was one of the Pistons’ most consistent big men off the bench.
Morris signed a two-year, $6.56 million contract with the Pistons as a free agent in July.
Morris' departure leaves an open roster spot and potential playing time for a young big man — whether it’s a 10-day contract or a potential promotion for a G-League player such as Donta Hall.
The Morris buyout comes the same week the Pistons reached a buyout agreement with point guard Reggie Jackson. Looking to clear salary-cap space, they also traded Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers just before the trade deadline. It’s a clear sign that the Pistons will give more time to young prospects and try to figure out their long-term path forward.
That could mean increased playing time for Thon Maker, Christian Wood and rookie Sekou Doumbouya. Morris didn’t play in Thursday’s home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, which could have been a harbinger of the buyout negotiations.
Morris, 30, was drafted 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2011 and was traded to the Washington Wizards in 2016. The Wizards traded him last season to the New Orleans Pelicans and he was released the same day before joining the Oklahoma City Thunder for the remainder of the season, where he played in just 24 games.
Markieff is the twin brother of former Piston Marcus Morris, who joined the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline.