The Suns have been attempting to trade Markieff Morris, as Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post hears (Twitter link). Schultz points to a poor relationship between Morris and coach Jeff Hornacek, and Phoenix’s agreement to trade twin Marcus Morris to the Pistons. Schultz is also hearing the suggestion that the Suns are targeting Ryan Anderson, among other power forwards (Twitter link), though it’s unclear if Anderson is indeed in their sights.
The Suns would have traded Markieff Morris if LaMarcus Aldridge had committed to come to Phoenix, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes, though Schultz’s report would suggest that offloading the remaining Morris brother is still a focus for the Suns even though Aldridge has agreed to a deal with the Spurs instead. The Morris twins are facing felony aggravated assault charges stemming from a January incident. The Suns had allowed them to divvy up $52MM in extension money this past fall, and the brothers prioritized sticking together, but Phoenix split the two even before their extensions kicked in. Markieff Morris is slated to make $8MM this coming season in the first year of his four-year, $32MM extension.
It’s unclear if Phoenix is looking to clear cap space with a Morris trade, as it surely would have if Aldridge were still a possibility, or if the Suns would prefer to trade Morris for a player who can contribute. Anderson would certainly fit the mold of a productive player, and his salary $8.5MM salary for this coming season is a match, but New Orleans would have to be motivated to give him up.