We can only hope this is a negotiating strategy in that it's still two days before the trade deadline when teams finally compromise to meet in the middle.
But after months of trolling for takers on Markieff Morris, the Phoenix Suns are apparently still wanting too much back for the troubled, uncontrollable forward, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical/Yahoo! Sports.
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 has to has to has to be a negotiating ploy that will soften on deadline day. Woj also says the Suns are willing to keep Morris until summer when they believe his value might be higher.
Or, it's possible that the context is being lost there. Clearly, the Suns will have to take back salary in order to dump Morris, so maybe the offers they've gotten are lukewarm at best - a bad contract (going beyond this summer) and a far future conditional first rounder no better than the Cleveland pick the Suns are getting in June. Maybe they want Tucker and/or Goodwin and/or Teletovic too, all for just the one first rounder.
I don't know. What I do know is that I still believe the Suns HAVE to get rid of Morris this week to start to rebuild their brand. What it takes to get rid of him should be at least somewhat secondary.
Other players being rumored to garner interest are P.J. Tucker and Mirza Teletovic so far, but nothing concrete is being made public. Tucker moreso than anyone else, really, because of his easy fit onto a playoff team needing a hard nosed defender and three-point shooter in their rotation. Teletovic is also wanted for his shooting, but he doesn't bring much of anything else to the table.
If I had my way, the Suns would keep Tucker at least through the end of the year unless they can pry a good young small forward from somewhere to take his place. Otherwise, the Suns would be way short at SF due to T.J. Warren's season-ending injury.
Stay tuned, Suns fans!