The Detroit Pistons have reached an agreement with free agent Markieff Morris, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Morris was signed to a two-year deal using the bi-annual exception, meaning some or all of $3.6 million per season.
Morris averaged 9.4 points and 4.6 rebounds on 42% shooting and 33.5% from 3 on 3.5 attempts per game. His offensive production has sagged over the past few seasons, but Detroit would likely give him an opportunity to bounce back and rebuild some value.
At his best, he is a capable, switchable defender who can hit his free throws, score with middling efficiency and is dangerous enough from 3 to keep defenders honest. At his worst, well, see his 24 games after he was traded to the Thunder.
His role in Detroit will likely be first big off the bench and Thon Maker insurance. It is unclear if the Pistons still feel the need to sign a more traditional backup center and use Morris primarily as a power forward.
I’d imagine he is being viewed more as the team’s backup center, but he and Thon (who weighs 23 pounds less than Morris) could split reserve minutes at center and power forward pretty interchangeably.
The Pistons still have enough wiggle room under the luxury tax to sign a veteran to a mimium contract. That role was being earmarked for Javale McGee, who reportedly met with the Pistons early in free agency, but no deal was signed.
The presumption is that McGee, a Flint native, is waiting on the dust to settle with the Los Angeles Lakers before making his decision on where to play next.