Western Notes: Morris, Ayres, Stephenson

Suns GM Ryan McDonough believes the trade that sent Markieff Morris to the Wizards will allow both sides to have a new start, Bob Baum of The Associated Press relays. “I think Markieff will play well in Washington but I think for all parties involved it was time for a fresh start,” McDonough said. “I think this trade hopefully will bring a breath of fresh air into our organization.” The executive also noted that he was extremely pleased with the protected first rounder Phoenix acquired from Washington in the swap, Baum adds. “We feel good about it,” McDonough continued. “Anytime you’re able to acquire a draft pick that has a chance to be late lottery or mid-first round for a player that probably wasn’t fitting in as well as he could have, we view that as a positive outcome for the franchise.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace is intrigued with deadline acquisition Lance Stephenson and believes the swingman is still growing as a player, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal relays. “Lance is a guy who got a significant free agent contract from Charlotte based on how well he played in Indiana two years ago,” Wallace said. “He is a very tough, versatile player who can handle the ball and guard multiple positions. He’s got every reason to be very motivated and help us. He was one of the best shooters coming into the [2010] draft. He’s a young guy who the book hasn’t been written on.
  • The Clippers acquired Jeff Green with the intention of using his Bird rights to re-sign him in the offseason, and Green, while saying that he’s still adjusting in the immediate wake of Thursday’s trade, can envision a long-term fit in L.A., observes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (Twitter links).
  • The Rockets have assigned rookie combo forward Sam Dekker to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Dekker’s second trek to Rio Grande Valley, though he was injured during his first stint with the Vipers and he did not see any game action as a result.
  • The Thunder have assigned Mitch McGary to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be the center’s sixth stint with the Blue on the season.
  • Center Jeff Ayres, whose second 10-day deal with the Clippers expired last week, has rejoined the the Idaho Stampede, the Jazz’s D-League affiliate, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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