2:55pm: Morris said he’s “super-excited” to play with offseason signee Tyson Chandler, and he called this year’s team the best Suns squad he’s been a part of, according to Coro, who writes in a full story.
“The ultimate goal is to make the playoffs,” Morris said. “It’s not about me. It’s about my teammates and the organization. I’m just looking forward to a great year and hopefully we can make the playoffs this year.”
12:12pm: Markieff Morris declared “I want to be here” as he addressed reporters at Suns media day today on the eve of training camp, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link), declining to otherwise address his tumultuous offseason relationship with the Suns. Morris demanded a trade in August, weeks after the team dealt his twin brother to the Pistons. Morris had said even as he made his trade demand that he would show up for camp, but it’s surprising to see him seemingly put it behind him after doubling down earlier this month, tweeting that, “My future will not be in Phoenix.” That remark drew a $10K fine from the league, so perhaps it’s the threat of punishment that has the power forward changing his rhetoric.
Suns GM Ryan McDonough and coach Jeff Hornacek brushed off the idea of lingering animosity, in keeping with the optimism they’ve consistently shown about reaching a reconciliation, as Coro relays (Twitter links). The Suns have reportedly been disinclined to give in to Morris’ demand.
“He’s certainly not the first and won’t be the last player to be upset with the front office,” GM Ryan McDonough said, according to Coro. “It happens.”
McDonough wasn’t apologetic about failing to give Morris advance warning about trading his brother, however, in comments that Coro tweets. Morris expressed displeasure as he made his trade demand that the Suns didn’t run his brother’s trade by him.
The former 13th overall pick had planned not to talk to the Suns front office and to answer Hornacek only with one-word responses, as John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM reported. It’s unclear if he’s changed that stance. In any case, he’s due $8MM this season in the first year of a four-year, $32MM extension that he signed at the same time his brother inked a four-year, $20MM extension with the team in the hopes that the pair would be together for the long term.
Do you believe that Morris truly no longer wants to be traded, or do you think this storyline will come up again? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.