Central Notes: Love, Bucks, Morris

New Pistons forward Marcus Morris wasn’t initially thrilled with the Suns for dealing him to Detroit, Perry A. Farrell of The Detroit Free Press writes. “I wouldn’t say stunning, but in Phoenix, I would say I didn’t have a great opportunity,” Morris said today. “I kind of wanted to play with my brother [twin Markieff Morris] so much that I kind of took away from myself. I didn’t think I had an opportunity to get better. I don’t think I had the chance to grow as a player over there. I think the opportunity is here for me. Everybody knew how bad I wanted to play with my brother. Phoenix knew. For them to trade me without consent or telling me was like a slap in the face, because of the contract I took from those guys and the money I took from them. I’m happy to be here. I’m a Piston. I’m a Bad Boy. I’m ready to get started.”

Here’s the latest from the Central Division:

  • The future second-rounder going to Indiana in the Roy Hibbert trade is the Lakers’ 2019 pick, tweets salary cap expert Larry Coon. The Pacers also net a trade exception equivalent to Hibbert’s salary of more than $15.5MM, Coon points out, but that will vanish when Indiana’s deal with Monta Ellis becomes official, unless the Pacers can somehow turn the Ellis transaction into a sign-and-trade.
  • The second-round pick heading from the Mavs to the Bucks in the Zaza Pachulia trade is Dallas’ 2018 selection, and it’s top-55 protected, according to RealGM. The same level of protection is on the 2020 second-rounder Milwaukee gets from the Wizards in the Jared Dudley deal, as RealGM also reveals. Both swaps produced trade exceptions, notes Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). The Bucks get one worth $5.2MM from Pachulia and another for $4.25MM from Dudley.
  • The salaries in Khris Middleton‘s five-year, $70MM deal with the Bucks fluctuate up and down from year to year, but the starting salary is $14.7MM, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Kevin Love indicated that he and LeBron James had what Love termed, “an honest talk,” prior to Love deciding to re-sign with the Cavaliers, Tom Withers of The Associated Press writes. “He happened to be in Los Angeles the same time I was,” Love said of James. “So, we just talked everything out and a lot of stuff was very honest and we came to a really good place and we agreed on a lot of things, so I think that was also a very big deal when you’re talking to the best player in the world.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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