As the Los Angeles Lakers aggressively went through the free agency market and signed a collection of new players, members of last year’s group were left without a spot on the roster. Veteran forward Markieff Morris quickly found himself in that very position.
Although there’s no room left for him on the Lakers, Morris seems to have landed back on his feet with a new team. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 31-year-old power forward is finalizing a one-year deal with the Miami Heat.
Morris spent the last two years in Los Angeles and saw a major drop in production as he took on a more niche role. In 61 games during the 2020-21 season, he averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting just 31.1 percent from beyond the arc. During the Lakers sole playoff series, Morris found himself stuck behind a group of other frontcourt players that head coach Frank Vogel ultimately chose to use in his rotations.
At just 31, Morris is far from the end of his career and could certainly be a valuable piece on a contending team due to his ability to space the floor and his solid defense. It appears as though the Heat will give him an opportunity to do just that.
Free agent F Markieff Morris is finalizing a deal with the Miami Heat, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Apart from the Lakers, the Heat have probably made the most headlines with their aggressive nature in free agency. Acquiring Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry through a sign-and-trade stole the show, but Miami has made a series of savvy moves to make themselves into a possible threat in the Eastern Conference.
Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson signed a massive five-year deal worth up to $90 million and Jimmy Butler is on his way to signing a max extension with the team. The Heat added gritty swingman PJ Tucker from the Milwaukee Bucks and now have a hard-nosed roster, capable of at least competing for a top-4 spot in the East.
The Morris signing won’t be the difference between Miami being a contender or not, but he certainly adds value to a team hoping to bounce back from last year’s disappointment.