The Phoenix Suns reportedly have no plans to deal the disgruntled Markieff Morris

The Phoenix Suns reportedly have no plans to deal the disgruntled Markieff Morris

You’ll recall that Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris suffered through a terrible season, mostly of his own design, in 2014-15. He clashed with the team’s coaching staff, the league’s referees, allegedly an assault victim in Philadelphia, the Phoenix fans; and in the Suns’ pursuit of LaMarcus Aldridge during the free agency period Morris’ twin brother Marcus was dealt to Detroit in a salary purge.

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Markieff responded with a read-between-the-lines trade demand, telling his hometown Philadelphia Inquirer that while he would show up for training camp as contractually obligated to, that by the time the season started he was “not going to be there.” With the “there,” presumably, meaning the Phoenix roster.

Well, the Suns have started up an unofficial minicamp as the summer drones on, and Markieff is expectedly nowhere to be found. And apparently the Suns have absolutely no interest in dealing their disgruntled forward. Via The Score, here’s Paul Coro at the Arizona Republic:

Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin, Brandon Knight, Alex Len, Jon Leuer, Ronnie Price, P.J. Tucker, T.J. Warren and Sonny Weems have been playing at US Airways Center since Monday.

There is no surprise that Markieff Morris is missing from that list, given his "Keef beef" with the franchise. His trade request fell on deaf ears.

As Coro goes on to detail, the Suns won’t be dealing Morris for a litany of reasons.

Phoenix failed to land Aldridge, or any other big forward in free agency, and team general manager Ryan McDonough is already on record in stating that Markieff is the team’s starting power forward moving forward. Even in a down year, which on a per-minute level Morris slogged through in 2014-15, he’s still a better option than starting Jon Leuer or tossing the undersized P.J. Tucker or T.J. Warren out there.

The Suns, frankly, have made some rather questionable personnel moves over the last few years. They’ve also made some knockout moves, though, utilizing leverage expertly. Securing first-round picks for the already-gone Goran Dragic was a masterstroke, the team patiently waited out Eric Bledsoe’s restricted free agency prior to signing him to a reasonable contract, and both Morris twins are working on very favorable (and, as was obviously the case with Marcus, tradable) deals.

Phoenix is under no obligation to flip Markieff. He has four years and $32 million left on his deal, and if he makes an outright trade demand he leaves himself liable to be fined by the NBA. If he fails to show up for camp and/or games, the Suns won’t have to pay him for his chosen time off. He genuinely has to put his money where his mouth is if he wants no part of Phoenix from here on out.

That isn’t to say that the Suns are lousy with leverage, here.

We don’t doubt for a second that if Phoenix could even deal Morris for a reasonable approximation of his stretch-four talents that they would. The GMs running 29 other NBA teams, however, are quite aware of the Suns’ situation regarding Markieff, and they’re not bending over backward to take Phoenix’s problem off of their hands. Even if his trade demands weren’t so glaringly obvious, a heavy chunk of the NBA landscape would want no part in dealing for a player who clashed with so many last season, while racking up 15 technical fouls along the way.

Still, with the official training camp one month away, it will have to be Markieff Morris, and not the Phoenix Suns, making the tough decision. He has to decide if he wants to swallow his pride, cash in those checks, and return to the team. Because, to hear the Suns tell it, he ain’t going anywhere any time soon.

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Kelly Dwyer

is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!