If there was an unsung hero for the Los Angeles Lakers this season it might very well be Markieff Morris. After helping the team win a championship in 2020, the veteran forward returned to the Lakers but was in and out of the rotation thanks to the depth on the team.
But when injuries destroyed the Lakers in the middle of the season, Morris became something of a constant for this team and stepped his game up immensely as a starter. In 27 games starting, Morris averaged 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 46.6% from the field and 37.2% from 3-point range.
Morris is one of many Lakers who will enter free agency this offseason and the team will have to make some decisions on who to retain. But Morris has no doubts about where he wants to be next season.
“As far as coming back next year, of course. There’s nowhere else I would rather be,” Morris noted. “I feel like this is home for me. This is definitely where I want to be, I think we got a good shot of running it back next year. I think I will be here, I think if everything lines up the way it’s supposed to, I’ll be back next year.”
Morris returned this season on a minimum contract, which was a deal for the Lakers considering his role the previous year. The forward commanding at least slightly more money would be more than understandable, but the front office has a ton of decisions to make.
The likes of Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and Andre Drummond are all free agents this summer and Montrezl Harrell could join them should he choose to decline his player option. The Lakers already have a lot of money tied up in their superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, not to mention the contract extension for Kyle Kuzma kicking in as well. As such, the avenues to improvement and roster changes are limited for the Lakers.
But whatever route the Lakers decide to go in building the roster for next season, it is clear that Morris wants to be here for the ride, and hopefully another championship run.
Vogel expects ‘tweaks’ to Lakers roster next year
Practically everyone on the Lakers, from players to the coaches and front office, have expressed the belief that this year’s roster was championship material at full strength. Unfortunately, things outside of their control doomed the team.
But even with that belief, there are still areas of improvement to be made on the roster, and head coach Frank Vogel believes there will be some tweaks.
“Like I said, we’ll see how the roster shapes up for next year, but we believe in the group that we have this year. We’d love to have an opportunity to run it back at full strength, but obviously, there’s always going to be tweaks to the roster.”
The franchise obviously has its core set, but the team will always explore every route to being the best it can be and this offseason will be no different.
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