Frankly, the Suns' primary interest was clearing more salary cap space in order to sign LaMarcus Aldridge outright as a free agent. By trading the three players for nothing more than a 2020 second round draft pick (wholly unprotected tho!), the Suns now have enough room under the salary cap to offer Aldridge a contract right now.
With this move, it appears the Suns are going the "under the cap" route by offering to sign Aldridge first, then either trading more salary to someone to fit in Tyson Chandler or doing a sign-and-trade with Dallas. Neither of which has to be the entire $13 million of Chandler's new contract apparently.
There is a wrinkle in the CBA that I didn't understand this morning, but thanks to a reader I do now. Apparently, the Suns can now sign Tyson Chandler to a sign-and-trade and only send back his new salary, less $5 million. That's somewhere between $7-8 million (ie. a Markieff Morris salary number, or Tucker+McNeal+Leuer, but I tend to think the former) depending on the calculations of Chandler's first year salary. At least, that's what I'm being told.
Now all we need if for LaMarcus Aldridge just to say yes.
And it's all thanks to the salary dump that created more than $21 million in cap room, making the Aldridge deal workable.
The trade was necessary, in many ways
I love this trade for the Suns, even if they don't make any more deals. This won't happen, the Suns WILL make another move or two or three, with or without Aldridge, but for the sake of argument let's pretend.
Bullock and Granger were unlikely to play at all next season. They were behind Mook, Tucker and Warren at the SF spot, and behind Knight, Goodwin, Tucker, Mook and rookie Booker at the SG spot.
Mook himself was on the verge of being squeezed out too.
The presence of Marcus Morris was a problem for the Suns in many ways. Firstly, he was taking potential minutes from T.J. Warren, who really needs more minutes.
Secondly, and moreso, he was a major part of the problem with team chemistry this season before and after he openly attacked the coach on the national stage.
I don't care who you are, that is not acceptable. It isn't. In any way.
I was surprised that Marcus wasn't suspended or traded in the coming weeks, but it appeared the Suns were trying to work past it during their playoff push. Mook was consistent on the court, and sans the shooting %, was one of their better on-court performers in the second half of the season.
But he didn't help anything in the locker room. He wasn't alone in being unable to contain himself, that's for sure. But he didn't help either. Yelling at your coach burns bridges. It just does.
Add in the very-likely-to-be-true assault allegations, where he was allegedly the more violent of the twins on that night - which occurred on AN OFF NIGHT BETWEEN TWO NBA GAMES RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON - and general attitude in the locker room that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and you've got a problem that needed to be fixed.
Mook had to go.
And now, likely, Markieff needs to go too. While he could survive without his brother, he didn't take the trade today very well initially.
Lol this a foul game here man!
— Keef Morris (@Keefmorris) July 2, 2015
The Morris brothers may feel slighted, or disrespected, by the Suns and you may too.
But man, they brought this on themselves. They spent the entire year complaining about officials. Complaining about the foul calls, even WHEN THEY GOT THEM. Hating on the media. Hating on the fans. Generally, leaving a sour taste behind them all the time.
It appears the Suns are done coddling and enabling the Morrii.
Since the end of the season, the Morrii have been in relative seclusion. They have not been as visible as before, not spending time at the facilities, and were not invited to the "Hi LaMarcus Aldridge!" party yesterday.
And now Marcus is gone in one direction, with maybe Keef going out in another.
They've ruined the best shot at playing together for the rest of their careers.
Morris twins, you brought this on yourselves.