Markieff Morris returning to Lakers on one-year deal

Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Free Agency

Markieff Morris is coming back to the Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t rested on their laurels after taking home yet another championship, as they chose to replace the departing Dwight Howard by signing Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell and former Toronto Raptors big Marc Gasol. LA wasn’t done beefing up the interior, as power forward Markieff Morris will officially wear the purple and gold next season after a brief stint with the club in the second half of the 2019-20 season.

Just days after his brother Marcus re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers for $64 million, Markieff returned to the Lakers on a one-year, veteran minimum deal, per Shams Charnia.

Markieff Morris saw heavy playoff minutes last year

In much the same way his brother earned a trade to the Clippers after languishing on a bad Knicks team, the Lakers added Morris after trading with the rebuilding Detroit Pistons. Morris’ numbers of 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds look ordinary, but his ability to shoot from the perimeter helped earned him legit playoff minutes alongside two non-shooters in Howard and JaVale McGee. Given Harrell’s lack of outside shooting, Morris won’t just be an end-of-the-bench player in 2020-21.

While he will likely be the backup power forward, again restricting how much burn he’ll get on the floor, the Lakers clearly value the mismatch potential he brings to the table on the offensive end, and convincing him to resign in LA on a veteran minimum deal has the potential to be one of the great robberies of the offseason.

In addition to adding bigs like Morris, Harrell and Gasol, the Lakers retained Kentavious Caldwell-Pope while trading for Dennis Schroder. Somehow, the Lakers managed to improve across the board as they look to defend the title.

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