As the Golden State Warriors celebrated the best 52-game start in league history, the Phoenix Suns were preoccupied with their own personnel issues. Given how the season has gone, it can’t be surprising that Markieff Morris was at the center of their most recent episode.
During Wednesday’s loss to the Warriors, Morris and teammate Archie Goodwin got involved in a heated argument while the Suns were in the midst of a timeout. As tempers flared, both players came at each other and had to be restrained by teammates on the bench. While no punches were thrown, the incident served as another example of how embarrassing this season has been for Phoenix.
“That was nothing,” Morris said after the game. “That was part of being a team leader and a big brother. Of course it looks bad. Everything I do looks bad.”
Morris’ leadership, or lack thereof, remains a major reason the Suns find themselves second-to-last in the conference with a 14-40 record. He has been a consistent distraction for the team since they traded his twin brother, Marcus, to Detroit this past summer. Phoenix even suspended him for two games earlier in the season, but that has clearly failed to correct his erratic behavior.
With the trade deadline looming, the Suns must find a team willing to take Morris before his value gets any lower. His offensive firepower could come in handy for a number of playoff contenders, provided they keep his behavior in check. Toronto, Memphis, and Dallas are three possible destinations that all need a boost in their front court play.
If Phoenix decides to keep Morris through the deadline, it’s important for the rest of the roster to stay alert during games. At this rate, Morris may attempt to fight everyone else on the team by season’s end.