Atlanta Hawks: Should the Team Trade for Markieff Morris?


I tried to avoid the topic for as long as possible. However, I’m only human, and who doesn’t love a good hypothetical trade? As you’ve likely heard by now, things are not going so well for Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns. That may be the understatement of the century.

More from Hawks News

Earlier in the free agency period the Suns traded the other Morris twin, Marcus Morris, to the Detroit Pistons in an attempt to clear cap room for their pursuit of LaMarcus Aldridge. Speculation at the time from Suns fans and bloggers was that the trade of Marcus might anger Markieff. It took awhile for that anger to rear its head, but here it is.

The twins have shown a desire to play together for their entire careers, an understandable yet unrealistic goal. Once it didn’t make basketball sense to keep both players the Suns were always going to trade Marcus, he is not as talented as his brother. When you have a chance to add LaMarcus Aldridge to an already talented roster you have to go for it. The Suns did what any rational organization would do in that situation.

On the other hand, Markieff is a human being and has a right to be upset. Especially when he feels like he was kept in the dark and was blindsided by the move. After months of radio silence, Markieff finally spoke out this week. He told Keith Pompey of that he will not be in Phoenix this season.

"“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.”"

Yikes. There it is. Markieff Morris has demanded a trade. Now the important question. Should the Atlanta Hawks make an offer for him? Before we delve into how realistic this scenario is, let’s take a look at the basketball side of things.

On the court Markieff blossomed last season. He was arguably Phoenix’s best and most consistent player last year. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on 46.5 percent shooting from the field and 31.8 percent from three-point range.

Markieff is best at the rim or in the midrange. At less than three feet from the rim he shot 61.1 percent last season. From between ten and sixteen feet he shot 50.2 percent. If he were a Hawk you could imagine them attempting to cut down on those midrange attempts, turning them into corner three-pointers. Though, he only shot 26.9 percent from the corners last season. His offensive style may not be a fit in Atlanta, but he most definitely gets buckets.

Defensively he is solid if unspectacular. His defensive rating was a mediocre 105 last season, but his defensive plus/minus was 6th best in the league for power forwards at 3.03. The defensive rating number can be a bit misleading, however. The Suns were ranked 17th in the NBA in defensive rating, so most players on the team show less than desirable defensive ratings. When Markieff was on the court he did have a positive impact on the defense, lowering their opponent’s offensive rating from 109.7 to 104.5.

Morris’ positional versatility is also very desirable. He can shift between both forward positions, playing on the wing or down low, and can also play center for short periods in small-ball lineups. He’s still primarily a power forward and that is what makes his fit in Atlanta an issue. Markieff is not starting over Paul Millsap and though he can play small forward for short periods, he would not be a candidate to start there for Atlanta. He would be an excellent big man off the bench, but would he really be happy in a bench role?

Live Feed

NBA Trade Rumors: 1 Player from each team most likely to be traded in-season
NBA Trade Rumors: 1 Player from each team most likely to be traded in-season /

Sir Charles In Charge

  • NBA Power Rankings: Tiering all 30 projected starting point guards for 2023-24Sir Charles In Charge
  • 1 Advantage the Heat have over every Southeast Division teamAll U Can Heat
  • NBA rumors: Trae Young drops Hawks on Insta, Harden's only suitor, Kelly Oubre Jr. updateFanSided
  • NBA rumors: Trae Young trade buzz, Andre Drummond is a comedian, Wemby and KAT team upFanSided
  • 4 Trae Young trades the Hawks should considerFanSided
  • There is also the attitude issue. He has shown the ability to be a disruptive force in the locker room, especially when he is without his brother. Then there is the whole matter of a pending court case regarding assault charges. Allegedly, the Morris twins assaulted a man for sending “inappropriate texts” to their mother. A strange situation and one the Hawks probably don’t want to deal with, especially with the Mike Scott ordeal ongoing.

    At the end of the day I’d be shocked if the Hawks made a move for Markieff Morris. He is an exceptional talent, but the pieces just aren’t there to make a move. The Suns would obviously have to agree to any deal. Despite his anger, they aren’t going to trade him just to trade him. They’re going to want fair value in return.

    To make the money work Atlanta would have to offer some combination of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore, Mike Scott, and probably a first round pick. That’s not going to happen. Obviously Teague and Korver are going nowhere, Sefolosha is pegged as the starting small forward, while Bazemore and Scott would not be enough to get the Suns to bite. There are deals that work financially, but none that make sense on the court. The Hawks just don’t have assets to move that are not essential to success in the 2015-2016 season.

    Next: Intriguing Games on the Hawks Schedule

    More from Soaring Down South