It sure seems that way.
Shoot, maybe they’re hoping to keep him and don’t want to move him at all. I mean, their asking price, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, implies as much:
Multiple teams who have made pitches for Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris suggest a first-round pick hasn’t been enough to engage the Suns in trade talks.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has been pursuing a package that includes a younger player and a first-round pick, league executives said. The Suns are motivated to honor Morris’ desire for a trade – and have no intention of bringing him back next season – but teams are starting to think the Suns could hold onto Morris past the Thursday trade deadline without a deal that brings back a player of value with a first-round pick.
This is just absurd. Morris’ value has never been lower. It’s true that he won’t earn more $8.6 million through a single season until his contract is up after 2018-19, making him doubly valuable once the salary cap rises. And it’s also true that he put up fringe-star numbers last season.
But…seriously. Morris’ shooting percentages are down across the board, his player efficiency rating has never been lower, he has one one of the worst box plus-minuses in the league, and the entire NBA knows by now that he wants out of Phoenix. The Suns have no leverage and are certainly in no position to demand a young player and a first-round pick in return for Morris’ services.
The best Phoenix can hope for is that Morris uses the rest of this season to drum up his trade value and become a hot, post-free-agency commodity for teams that swing and miss on the biggest names. But that’s a slippery slope, one the Suns perhaps shouldn’t travel given the less-than-sterling reputation of their locker-room dynamics.