Markieff hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. He was the 13th overall pick a few years ago hasn’t consistently played like it. Granted last season, there wasn’t much Morris could do to supplant the crafty Luis Scola who had all that experience over him.
The same thing could happen this year. Channing Frye coming back from his heart problem is plenty talented enough to take the starting power forward spot from Markieff. It’s not really his fault. But if Morris had played better, Suns decision-makers wouldn’t have thought to bring Scola in off the amnesty waiver wire.
This is a pivotal and crucial year for Markieff. Phoenix has a plethora of draft picks coming up and one of the middle to late first-rounders could come in and seize a roster spot from Morris, forcing him to be traded.
Best-Case Scenario: Markieff plays well enough to keep his roster spot and goes even further to keep Frye at bay to stay a starter at power forward. He does this by increasing his three-point percentage (especially from the top of the arc where he gets most of his open looks), developing some post moves, and increasing his rebound totals.
Worst-Case Scenario: Morris loses his starting job to Frye, then gets packaged with somebody at the deadline and gets traded.
What’s Likely to Happen: I think Morris loses his starting job to Frye, but does play better than last season. He looked better in summer league, slimmer, more energetic and physical. However, depending on who the middle and late first-round draft picks are, Markieff, possibly along with his twin could be out of Phoenix by the beginning of next season.
Projected Statistical Averages: PPG: 8.5(+0.3), RPG: 5.0 (+.02), BLKPG: 1.0 (+.02)
While we don’t know exactly what his averages are going to be, we know Markieff needs to step up his game because many of the people in charge at the Suns were in power when Morris was drafted.