Markieff Morris has taken the bold step of publicly demanding a trade. The Phoenix Suns forward told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he needs to "move on" and does not want to be on the team when the season begins.
"One thing for sure, I am not going to be there," Morris told Pompey. "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."
Morris later said he understands he'll have to report to training camp if he's still on the Suns' roster in order to avoid being fined, but added that "it won't get that far."
Morris is upset with the way the organization traded twin brother Marcus away to the Detroit Pistons in a salary dump earlier in the summer. The move was made in part to clear more cap space for a run at LaMarcus Aldridge, but there was also a sense that the Suns were upset with the twins' behavior and felt splitting them up would be beneficial. The twins were accused of helping a group assault a man in January. They have pleaded not guilty, but the case could stretch into the season.
For his part, Markieff does not believe that is why Marcus Morris was dealt.
"They can tell you anything about the case and all of that," Morris told Pompey 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."
Reason for embarrassment
Reason for embarrassment
Both twins are upset with the way the Suns handled the trade of Marcus Morris rather than the move itself. They learned about the deal while on vacation, and there had been no contact between the organization and either brother prior to that move. Marcus Morris has been calling the Suns out on Twitter since the deal, while Markieff Morris and the Suns stopped communication.
The twins' disappointment stems from last summer, when both players signed four-year contract extensions that they viewed as below market value in order to stay together. Markieff Morris signed a four-year, $32 million deal, while Marcus agreed to a four-year, $20 million one. Both deals begin next season.
"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," Marcus Morris told Pompey.
However, the twins have been involved in a number of troubling incidents over the past 10 months, most notably the felony assault charges stemming from that January incident. If convicted, the two could face jail time, but they have denied any involvement and have pleaded not guilty. A trial would begin on Sept. 30, when training camp begins. The twins are trying to move it to a day after the season ends.
It's for this reason -- and several other on-court incidents -- that SB Nation's Suns site Bright Side of the Sun believes the twins have nobody to blame but themselves for being broken up.
The Morris brothers may feel slighted, or disrespected, by the Suns and you may too.
But man, they brought this on themselves. They spent the entire year complaining about officials. Complaining about the foul calls, even WHEN THEY GOT THEM. Hating on the media. Hating on the fans. Generally, leaving a sour taste behind them all the time.
The NBA constitution allows the league to fine players up to $50,000 for conduct "detrimental to the association." In the past, this has been used to justify fines for public trade demands made by players and their agents.
Markieff Morris averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as the Suns' starting power forward last year.
SB Nation presents: How the Morris twins pushed each other to achieve greatness