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Pacific Notes: Morris, Russell, Mitchell

Trade speculation continues to grow the more Markieff Morris sits on the Suns‘ bench, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic details. Morris, as Coro notes, has seen only seven minutes of action in the past four games after being removed from his role as the team’s starting power forward. Jon Leuer and Mirza Teletovic have played over Morris during this recent stretch.

“We had a couple games where Markieff’s been out where the ball has moved around a little bit differently,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said, per Coro. “We have no real post-up threat we can go to in those situations. Markieff will get back. It’s a struggle for him right now but we all feel he’s a good player and he’s going to get it back. Right now, Jon and Mirza are playing better.”

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The development of rookie D’Angelo Russell has hit a curious snag because of Kobe Bryant‘s farewell tour, Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports writes. Lakers coach Byron Scott‘s decision to sit Russell late in games is confusing to some members of the Lakers’ front office who were convinced to forget about Kristaps Porzingis and Jahlil Okafor because Scott favored Russell, Lee reports.
  • On the other hand, J.A. Adande of argues that Scott’s handling of Russell makes sense because he is allowing the young player to remain hungry for minutes. As Adande points out, Russell is actually fourth among rookies in minutes played at 28.4 per game so it seems as if Russell is not being singled out or anything along those lines.
  • Tony Mitchell, whom the Warriors waived in October, signed with Venezuela’s Cocodrilos de Caracas, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays.

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