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During the height of NBA free agency, the Phoenix Suns made a salary dump trade to open cap space to try and sign LaMarcus Aldridge.
One of the players included in the trade was Marcus Morris, whose twin brother, Markieff Morris, is also on the Suns.
The Suns missed out on Aldridge and, in the process, infuriated both brothers, particularly Markieff.
While speaking with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Markieff went off, saying the Suns disrespected him and Marcus by not previously informing them of the trade.
Additionally, he said he won’t be in Phoenix this season, suggesting he would demand a trade. While he backpedaled a bit, and said he wouldn’t hold out of training camp, he noted, “It won’t get that far … I’ll be out by then, should be,” meaning he thought he’d be traded before camp.
Now, with training camp less than four weeks away, things are getting uglier between the two sides.
Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reported that as Suns players show up for pre-camp workouts, Markieff is unlikely to attend. Furthermore, Coro reported that Markieff’s trade demands “fell on deaf ears,” as the Suns are unlikely to move him.
Markieff is digging in. On Thursday he tweeted that he doesn’t want to be in Phoenix:
— Keef Morris (@Keefmorris) September 4, 2015
This could get worse. The Suns don’t have a strong incentive to trade Morris – yet. Teams around the NBA know the relationship is on the rocks and won’t give the Suns a quality trade offer for Morris, who’s a skilled, versatile power forward. Morris is also on a very affordable contract worth $8 million per year for the next two seasons, so if the Suns believe they can repair the relationship, they have even more incentive to keep a young, talented, relatively cheap player.
But if Morris really wants out of Phoenix, he can only do so much before holding out and making a scene of it. The Suns figure to compete for a playoff spot this season, and the last thing the team wants would be one of their best players becoming a distraction by holding out or harboring a grudge.
With training camps starting in late September, there is the chance for the Suns to bend and try to move Markieff, or they could work on repairing the relationship. However, Morris is making it known he wants out, and if he’s going public with his demands, the Suns may not have much of a choice.