The Sixers have already loaded up with more two-way forwards in this year’s free agency after signing P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. However, they’re reportedly still evaluating other options left on the free agent market.
As Marc Stein reported on Sunday, the Nets are the most interested team in Markieff Morris and the Sixers have looked into signing him as well:
The Nets indeed have registered the most serious interest in signing Markieff Morris, league sources say, but Philadelphia has also explored the feasibility of signing the Philly native. Brooklyn, in particular, has a need for a veteran who can command the respect of mercurial stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Is Morris, who turns 33 on Sept. 2, that player? Word is he was not afraid, in his time as a Laker, to speak his mind in a locker room that housed [LeBron] James and Anthony Davis.
Stein also followed up in a later tweet that “the Nets have moved into advanced discussions” with Morris. So, unless anything changes, it looks most likely that he ends up in Brooklyn.
Morris isn’t really worth pursuing for the Sixers anyway. They already have Tobias Harris, House, and Georges Niang who can play at the 4, plus the team’s big summer acquisition P.J. Tucker who should start and give them a smaller option at the 5. Morris isn’t the defender he used to be and he’s a passable but not particularly efficient shooter (34.5 percent from three over the last four seasons). He’s also coming off a season in which he missed significant time with a whiplash injury, after Nikola Jokic shoved him during their incident last November. Morris would provide extra depth and size at 6-foot-9, but only at a position where the Sixers are set and have better options already.
More than just the reported intrigue in Morris, though, the other interesting part of this report is that the Sixers have already filled their roster — meaning they’d need to create another roster spot before they can sign a free agent to use next season.
With 16 players under contract, Michael Foster Jr. and Aminu Mohammed on Exhibit 10 deals, and Charlie Brown Jr. and Julian Champagnie on two-way contracts, the Sixers are already at the offseason limit of 20 players and one over the regular-season limit of 15 players on standard contracts.
The Sixers pairing a couple of players into a trade (such as Furkan Korkmaz with his $5 million salary and Matisse Thybulle, one of their few young players with some value) has seemed like a real possibility for some time. They obviously need to find players they know can hang in their rotation and be relied on in the playoffs, and that isn’t the case for Korkmaz and Thybulle right now. The Sixers bolstering their wing rotation with Tucker, House and De’Anthony Melton (who can play the 2 and shift up to the 3 at times) means far fewer minutes will be available for others.
Hopefully for the Sixers they can find a better two-for-one trade target to complete their roster than signing someone like Morris. We’ll likely see how they round out the team in the next few weeks, or early in the season if they wait to see how some of their younger players look to start their 2022-23 campaign.