Markieff Morris decision to join Detroit seems contrary to his stated preferences

Markieff Morris, OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Markieff Morris, OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Following a brief spell with the OKC Thunder, Markieff Morris vowed role definition, playing time and family would take precedence in free agency. His move to Detroit seems odd given two of those preferences.

Markieff Morris picks Detroit Pistons:

The OKC Thunder picked up Markieff Morris in the buyout market hoping his addition would help bolster the team’s playoff run. Russell Westbrook and Paul George were said to have actively recruited Morris who listened and picked OKC over other interested parties.

His signing meant Pattrick Patterson witnessed his minutes take a hit (granted he was already pretty much glued to the bench). Yet, Morris himself didn’t get ample playing time which became a bone of contention with the big man. In his exit interview, Morris made it clear he would not be open to returning if his role and minutes weren’t significantly upgraded.

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Factor in Morris may have sought a healthy contract too rich for General Manager to even consider given the state of the Thunder salary sheet. Albeit, this is somewhat at odds with his move to Detroit as the rumor is his 2-year deal was only for the veteran minimum.

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Analyzing the move Markieff is the type of player Dwane Casey covets with his grit and toughness and range of skills. That said, if Morris’ priorities were financial, role-driven and linked to getting increased time on the court I’m a little befuddled.

To start, surely there were better offers than the vet minimum from other recruiters (and there was a lineup of suitors).

Furthermore, unless Casey plans to utilize Morris in oddball lineups with multiple big men on the court his role would presumably be as a backup to star Blake Griffin.

And, perhaps that is where the true nature of his signing lies. Following a season of dealing with a heavy workload which led to injuries perhaps Casey’s goal is to “manage” BG’s minutes and utilize someone like Markieff to do so.

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Regardless, the team at Thunderous Intentions wish Kieff well in his new venture.