Lakers bring back forward Markieff Morris on a one-year deal

Broderick Turner
·2 min read
Los Angeles Lakers forward Markieff Morris, left, blocks a shot by Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo.
Lakers forward Markieff Morris blocks a shot by Heat center Bam Adebayo during Game 4 of the NBA Finals. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

With a simple tweet, Markieff Morris announced his return to the Lakers.

“Run it back! #Lakeshow,” Morris tweeted Monday morning.

And just like that, the Lakers got another key player who played a pivotal role in their 2019-20 NBA championship to agree to a deal.

Later in the day, the Lakers announced that Morris had re-signed with them.

According to people not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, Morris signed a veteran minimum exception contract for one season.

The Lakers now have a 12-man roster and are in position to sign two more players on veteran minimum contracts.

But the biggest issue the Lakers must deal with now is getting forward Anthony Davis re-signed to a contract.

Davis opted out of his contract for next season that would have paid him $28.7 million to become an unrestricted free agent.

When free agency opened Friday, Davis and agent Rich Paul had informed Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka that Davis would make a decision this week.

NBA team executives believe that Davis will return to the Lakers, who will have a strong shot at repeating if that does happen.

Davis could opt to sign a one-plus-one deal with a player option that would pay him about $68 million over two seasons. Or he could sign a three-year deal with a player option for the final season for $106 million, a four-year deal for $146.7 million or a five-year deal for $189 million.

Davis wanted to see what kind of team Pelinka would assemble. Having Morris back to play power forward and center has to help, especially with his ability to shoot three-pointers and open the floor for Davis and LeBron James.

Morris, 31, averaged 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds over 14.2 minutes in 14 regular-season games with the Lakers. He shot 33.3% from three-point range.

During the playoffs, Morris averaged 5.9 points and made a team-high 42% of his three-pointers.

The Lakers signed Morris last February after he negotiated a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, a team he had played 44 games for last season.

The Lakers signed Morris for $1.75 million by using the disabled player exception they were able to use for injured center DeMarcus Cousins.

Also, the Lakers announced that they had acquired forward/center Jordan Bell and small forward Alfonzo McKinnie from the Cleveland Cavaliers for center JaVale McGee and a future second-round draft pick.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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