2:30pm: Last week’s tweet from Morris was the statement that clinched the fine, Stein writes in a full piece. The NBA makes a habit of giving players the benefit of the doubt, notes former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link), so that appears to have been the case with the remarks Morris made to Pompey, but the tweet evidently took it a step too far.
12:57pm: The NBA has slapped Markieff Morris with a fine of $10K for publicly demanding a trade from the Suns, the league announced, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). It’s not against the rules for either a player or his agent to go to the team with trade demands, but Morris aired his laundry through the media, which the NBA has been fining players for since the 2005/06 season, Stein points out (Twitter links). Morris told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer early last month that, “I am not going to be there [in Phoenix] at all,” amid his anger over the trade that sent his twin brother, and now ex-teammate, to the Pistons in July.
Morris is set to make $8MM this season, the first in a four-year, $32MM extension he signed last fall, when the Suns allowed him and his brother to split a $52MM pot, so the fine won’t have much of a financial impact on the 26-year-old. Morris doubled down last week on his earlier comments, tweeting that, “My future will not be in Phoenix.” John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 radio first reported that Morris wanted off the Suns, though Morris ostensibly wouldn’t have drawn a fine for that dispatch alone, since it didn’t include on-the-record statements from him.
Agent Leon Rose of the Creative Artists Agency has represented Morris, though his brother recently left the agency, so it’s unclear if he’ll do the same. Regardless, the trade demand has placed the Suns in a compromising position, as I examined when I looked at Morris in a Trade Candidate piece. The Suns appear intent on patching up the relationship, but Gambadoro reported that the 2011 lottery pick won’t talk to Suns front office officials and will respond to coach Jeff Hornacek only in one-word answers.
How do you see things ending up for Morris and the Suns? Do you think any room for reconciliation exists, or should the Suns simply take what they can get for him? Leave a comment to tell us.