The Los Angeles Lakers arguably had the best offseason of any team, something that is rare for a defending NBA champion.
Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka was able to infuse the roster with more talent and youth while also retaining key players from the 2019-20 season. One of those was Markieff Morris, who agreed to return on a one-year, minimum deal.
Morris was bought out by the Detroit Pistons after last season’s trade deadline and turned into a valuable contributor for Los Angeles during the playoffs. The forward fielded interest from other teams, but admitted that winning another championship was his main priority.
“It was a crazy free agency and I just felt like this is the best place for me,” Morris said. “Get to be a free agent next year, try to most likely back-to-back it, and that’s what this whole thing is about. Trying to win this championship. I was on board for that.”
One of the reported teams who took a look at Morris was the L.A. Clippers, but he debunked those rumors. “The Clippers situation, that was just talk, man. They were trying to scare Lakers fans,” Morris said.
His twin brother Marcus Morris plays for the Clippers, and the two are extremely close, but the Lakers offer him the best chance at another ring. His presence maintains the continuity and chemistry from last year’s squad and he should be a useful rotation guy once again.
How Markieff Morris is preparing for the 2020-21 season
Like his teammates, Morris is being afforded less time than usual to recover from a deep playoff run. However, he did not seem concerned about quickly acclimating as he tried his best to rest during the offseason.
“I’m a pretty strict guy when it comes to my diet, so that’s not a worry,” Morris explained. “Same diet I had the last 10 years I’ve been in the league. It’s just staying healthy. I’m so used to having a four-month offseason where I can lift for a whole month and get myself ready to play for another two months.
“If we want to really look at it, we played an entire year of basketball. With COVID, we stopped working out for a couple weeks or so and nobody knew when the season would start back up, so we had to keep some type of shape. We’ve been playing for a whole year.
“Me personally, I had to rest a lot, so I just literally picked up a basketball a week ago. I needed my body to rest to get ready for this upcoming season.”
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