And-Ones: Morris, Stephenson, D-League, Stretch

Markieff Morris didn’t have a lot to say when asked about playing apart from his brother, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Morris seemingly vacated an offseason trade demand when he arrived at Suns camp in September, nearly three months after Phoenix irked him with the trade that sent his twin to Detroit.

“It is what it is. He’s at work. I’m at work. Same thing,” Morris said.

He also expressed no surprise that Marcus Morris is off to a strong start with the Pistons, Coro notes. See more from around the league:

  • Lance Stephenson has pleasantly surprised the Clippers so far, unexpectedly winning a starting job and rewarding the team for its extra diligence during the vetting process for the trade that brought him to L.A., as USA Today’s Sam Amick details. Clippers GM Dave Wohl made 61 calls to people who know Stephenson instead of the standard 20, according to Amick. “I don’t think we’ve ever made more [background] calls for a player in my life,” Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said before Thursday’s game. “We had to make sure, but I’ve got to tell you that I’m really excited.”
  • Cartier Martin, whom the Pistons waived last week despite a fully guaranteed salary of nearly $1.271MM, and eight-year NBA veteran Ronnie Brewer are among the players signing D-League contracts that will funnel them to Saturday’s D-League draft, league sources tell Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter links). In Martin’s case, that means the Pistons elected not to claim his D-League rights. Hornets camp cut Sam Thompson is also signing with the D-League and heading to the D-League draft, a source tells Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). Charlotte won’t have an affiliate until next year and thus couldn’t claim his rights.
  • The use of the stretch provision is down this year after a surge in 2014, but a Western Conference GM who spoke with Brian Windhorst of believes that over time, teams will more frequently use the mechanism to spread out the payment schedule for money owed to players. “The stretch provision was something that was really being underutilized until pretty recently. I don’t think some teams understood how it could be used as a benefit,” the GM said. “I think we’ll see it more in the future because with the salary cap going up, it will be easier to fit into your planning.”
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