FEBRUARY 23, 3:55pm: The Lakers will sign Morris using their $1.75MM disabled player exception once he clears waivers at 4 p.m. CST this afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.
Morris reached a buyout agreement with the Pistons on Friday afternoon and was placed on waivers. It’s possible another team could swoop in and claim Morris, who was making $3.2MM this season. However, Morris had a $3.36MM player option on the second year of his contract with Detroit. He let the Pistons off the hook with the buyout but that option would be restored if he were claimed.
A team would have to have a traded player exception big enough to accommodate Morris’ $3.2MM cap hit in order to claim him. Most contenders that fit the bill have tax or hard-cap concerns, making a claim unlikely.
The Lakers will have to make a roster move to add Morris. They’ll reportedly release injured center DeMarcus Cousins rather than a little-used rotation player like Troy Daniels, Quinn Cook, or Jared Dudley, despite head coach Frank Vogel recently suggesting that Cousins could get healthy for the playoffs.
Morris’ addition to the Lakers provides even more intrigue between the Los Angeles teams. He could wind up guarding his brother, Marcus Morris, if the Lakers and Clippers meet in the playoffs. Marcus Morris was traded to the Clippers in a deadline deal.
Markieff Morris, 30, has appeared in 44 games for the Pistons this season, averaging 11.0 PPG and 3.9 RPG with a .450/.397/.772 shooting line in 22.5 minutes per contest.