DECEMBER 18TH, 2:16pm: The discussions about a trade that would send Morris to Houston for Brewer and Jones have been serious, and a distinct possibility exists that such a deal will happen, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who nonetheless points to Brewer’s ineligibility for inclusion in a deal before January 15th. Morris is nonetheless “very available,” Stein writes.
DECEMBER 15TH, 1:46pm: The Suns have talked about a deal with Houston for Corey Brewer and Terrence Jones, a source told Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops. Brewer is ineligible for inclusion in a trade until January 15th.
DECEMBER 7TH, 8:04am: The belief around the league is growing that the Suns are prepared to trade Morris, Stein writes in a full piece. Houston would likely deal away Jones in any swap that brings in Morris, sources tell Stein. Stein and Coro point to Marcus Morris calling Brandon Knight “soft” after the Suns-Pistons game last week as a potential signal of turmoil for Markieff in Phoenix. Still, after Friday’s game, one in which Markieff played but came off the bench, he seemed OK with no longer starting, as Coro noted in a separate piece.
“It’s cool,” Morris said. “Me and Coach [Jeff Hornacek] talked about it. Try to catch a rhythm with the second unit. Whatever’s good for the team is what I’m good with. It is what it is. Jon [Leuer] and Mirza [Teletovic] have been playing really well. If you ask me if I deserve it, I haven’t been playing too well. I’m with whatever the team wants.”
Morris received his first benching by coach’s decision since 2011/12, the power forward’s rookie season, on Sunday. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic described Morris’ situation as “reheated.” Morris, Coro notes, did not speak with reporters Sunday. Morris issued a trade demand in August after his brother, Marcus, was shipped to the Pistons. When training camp started, however, Morris declared he wanted to be in Phoenix. All along, the Suns seemed to want to repair his hurt feelings and retain him on the roster. Still, trade rumors have swirled with the Pistons reportedly interested in acquiring his services and reuniting him with his brother. Marcus observed that he looked unhappy last month.
The Rockets have struggled this season and currently own an underwhelming 10-11 record. Despite his inconsistency this season, Morris is averaging 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game — numbers in line with his career averages. Interestingly, the Rockets are reportedly mulling the idea of trading power forwards Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas. As Stein points out, trades will become easier after December 15th, the first day that most of the players who signed new contracts over the summer can be traded.