The start of NBA free agency is officially here, and as expected, there already has been a flurry of moves right out the gates.
Despite their limited resources and assets, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to make a couple splashes as they reportedly agreed to deals with Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, and Dwight Howard. All three veterans have previously played in Los Angeles, with Ariza and Howard winning titles with the franchise in 2009 and 2020, respectively.
While adding three players who can immediately come in and play rotational minutes, the Lakers still have several spots they need to fill on the roster. One player they should strongly consider bringing back is Markieff Morris. After being bought out by the Detroit Pistons, Morris joined the Lakers a couple of seasons ago and has been steady when called upon.
However, it appears the forward will have offers to sift through, particularly one from the Miami Heat as Barry Jackson of Miami Herald reports he has already received an offer from South Beach:
Per source, Heat has made an offer to Markieff Morris, who has a home in South Florida. He would fill Heat’s power forward role if he takes it. But he has several offers and hasn’t made a decision.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 2, 2021
The Heat already has made a splash in free agency after they reportedly agreed on a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors that brought them back Kyle Lowry. Miami also reportedly agreed on a new five-year, $90 million deal with Duncan Robinson, which means they will be chasing after veterans like Morris.
Even at this point in his career, Morris is a capable defender who can credibly guard power forwards and small-ball centers, a role he played perfectly with the Lakers. Los Angeles should be trying to re-sign him, but perhaps a larger role with Miami is enough to lure him away.
Markieff Morris expresses desire to return with Lakers
Although the Heat appears interested in Morris, the Lakers are not out on retaining him by any means. Morris was emphatic about wanting to return to Los Angeles next season, but it remains to be seen if those feelings are still true.