Markieff Morris was a notable part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2019-20 NBA championship run. Although he wasn’t necessarily the most important piece, he played his role relatively well. And there is a reasonable case to be made that he provided far more return on investment than his twin brother did for the LA Clippers, at a fraction of the cost.
By all objective metrics, Morris’ time with the Lakers should be viewed as a success.
That said, the 32-year-old doesn’t appear to be looking back on it all that fondly.
After signing a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Miami Heat over the offseason, Morris took some time this week to address the items weighing on his mind. Chief among them – the things he didn’t like about LA.
“I feel like we have nobody on the team like just, ‘Give him the ball, and then everybody just watch and let them make the play,’” he said of his new situation in Miami, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It’s a collective. We’re going to need everybody to score and rebound and defend every night. And that’s the best team to be on, when you don’t have to run to the corner every play and wait for a guy to make a play for you.”
It doesn’t take a genius to infer what Morris is trying to say there. He likes the way the Heat’s offense is set up because it’s so different than the way the Lakers do it.
Beyond that, Morris seems salty about how things ended in LA. He apparently expected to return.
“I really didn’t expect it,” he said, of not getting re-signed. “It’s business sometimes. There isn’t too much I can say about that. It was super unexpected. For sure, I thought I was going back to the Lakers. But, sometimes I’m not in teams’ plans and that’s how it works sometimes.”
Morris was brought in to be a tough presence on defense and hit shots from beyond the arc. Last year, he shot 31 percent from three – his lowest mark since 2015 with the Phoenix Suns. Based on how little he brought to the table, is it really that shocking the Lakers opted not to re-sign him?
This is a big year for LA. There’s a reason why Anthony Davis has undergone a complete body transformation over the offseason and the Lakers are working hard to fill their remaining roster spot with one of the biggest available names around. Everyone understands that LeBron James’ window is slowly closing, and every season from here on out matters.
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 24, 2021
Simply put: the front office doesn’t have the time or resources to keep around players like Morris, who have clearly outlived their usefulness to the organization.
Morris may not like that hard truth – but that’s the reason why he’s off in Miami now.