Markieff Morris demands trade from Suns

Posted: August 13, 2015

Markieff Morris wants out of Phoenix.

The Suns power forward said he feels disrespected by the way the team handled the July 9 trade of his twin and former teammate, Marcus Morris, to the Detroit Pistons. Now he is demanding a trade of his own.

The North Philadelphia native, who starred with his brother at Prep Charter and Kansas, is determined to be dealt.

"One thing for sure, I am not going to be there," Morris said Tuesday after a morning workout at Competitive Edge Sports in King of Prussia.

"If you want to put that out there, you can put that out. " he added. "I don't give a [freak]. I am not going to be there at all. That's just what it is."

In September 2014, Morris signed a four-year, $32 million contract extension that kicks in this season. His brother signed a four-year, $20 million extension. The two settled for less money than they would have received as free agents in order to remain teammates.

If Markieff Morris refuses to play, the 6-foot-10, 245-pounder knows that the Suns can suspend him without pay if they're unwilling to release or trade him. He is scheduled to report to training camp at the end of September.

"I've got to show up. No question." said Markieff Morris, who is scheduled to make $8 million this season. "You can't do that. I will be a professional. Don't get me wrong.

"But it won't get that far. … I'm going to be out before then, should be."

The twins have been inseparable for most of their lives. And things didn't exactly go well for Marcus Morris the short time they were apart.

Markieff Morris went 13th overall to the Suns during the 2011 draft. His brother went one slot later to the Houston Rockets.

The 6-foot-9 small forward struggled as a rookie in Houston, the first time that Markieff wasn't by his side. The two reunited when Marcus was traded to Phoenix in February 2013.

Of the latest deal, Markieff said he's not disappointed that the Suns traded his brother to the Pistons, where he is likely to get more opportunities to succeed. But he is disappointed in how the twins were notified.

They said they learned of the trade while on vacation out of the country with their girlfriends. Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, and Danny Granger were traded to the Pistons in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick.

"If you are going to do something, do it," Markieff Morris said. "The GM, I've been there longer than him, the coaches, everybody. I've been there the longest, and I don't get the respect to be like, 'Yo Keef, we are going to trade your brother. You are our future power forward.' I'm the future power forward. I'm the premier player of the team. … That's just how business is done I guess."

The Morris twins believe those three players were shipped away to make room to lure free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to Phoenix. Aldridge signed with San Antonio.

However, there's a perception that Marcus Morris was traded because the Suns grew tired of the twins' antics. They are accused of helping three others assault a man outside a Phoenix recreation center on Jan. 24. The twins pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony aggravated assault.

According to police reports, Erik Hood, another Philly native, said he was repeatedly punched and kicked while receiving a fractured nose, abrasions and large bump on his head.

The Morrises' defense attorneys asked a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to return the case to a grand jury because they said prosecutors falsely presented information that led to an indictment.

The state has until Aug. 21 to respond to the motion.

Markieff Morris said he believes the trade had nothing to do with court case.

"They can tell you anything about the case and all of that," he said of his brother being traded. "Nah, it has nothing to do with that. That's just all disrespect and all unprofessional. They called us unprofessional. That's what that is, unprofessional. No one is trying to hear that."

But as Markieff Morris sees it, this is one of many moves that turned a potential playoff team into a rebuilding squad.

He points out that the Suns had 28-17 record before participating in three trades during the Feb. 19 trade deadline. They went on to finish 39-43 and missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

The Suns sent brothers Goran and Zoran Dragic to the Miami Heat in one of the three-team deals that involved the New Orleans Pelicans. They shipped Tyler Ennis and Mason Plumlee to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade that involved the 76ers. Phoenix did get standout guard Brandon Knight in return from Milwaukee.

However, they dealt Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics.

"I can't put my finger on it, honestly" Markieff Morris said of the Suns breaking up the team. "Stuff wasn't that bad. Phoenix is trying to make it seem like people were in there just acting the [freak up. heck] no.  We had everything under control.

"They were trying to make it seem players weren't getting along, we had a great time. When Goran was there, too.  Even though Goran wasn't happy, we still had a great time. A lot of team chemistry we had all of that."

And the twins don't want anyone to believe that they're only upset due to being split up.

"I'm a grown man," Marcus Morris said. "I can stand on my own. I play on my own. It's just the disrespectful side. What we did for the Suns, the pay cuts we took and for them to trade me without consent is what made me more disappointed and is what made me more upset."

The bother feel betrayed due to being the leaders of the team.

This past season, they held team dinners when the Suns came to Philadelphia to play the Sixers. In the Suns' visit in 2013-14 season, treated their teammates to cheesesteaks from Max's Steaks in North Philly after they arrived from Cleveland at 12:30 a.m. the day of the game.  Angel Morris, the Morris twins' mother, had 20 cheesesteaks from Tony Luke's waiting for the Suns after the game.

"You don't do people like that," Marcus Morris said. "The voices we brought to the locker room and how we kept the guys together.  We were a passion of that team.

"And for them to not have the respect to call me and tell me that's why we are going to trade you,  it's just disrespectful."

But he is ready to move on.

"As far as I'm concerned, I never was a Phoenix Sun," Marcus Morris said. "It's a new start for me. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to take care of business, expand my game and get the height I know I can get to."

Now, Markieff Morris is determined to be the next player out of Phoenix.

The 25-year-old says he just wants to go in peace.  He doesn't want any bad blood or bad ties.

"It's just when you get to a point in your life, you just need to move on," Markieff Morris said. "That's what I need to do for my career, my family, myself. I just need to move on."

kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.philly.com/deepsixer

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