Markieff Morris considering Europe, China if lockout continues

Phoenix Suns rookie forward Markieff Morris is still considering playing overseas, according to Morris’ agent Tony Dutt, who said conversations with a couple of the top teams in Europe and China are “ongoing” in an email to ValleyoftheSuns Tuesday.

Morris had previously been connected to defending Euroleague champion Greece Panathinaikos so it’s not surprising that top teams in Europe could still be in play for Morris.

However, the China Basketball Association recently ruled that no NBA player with an active contract is eligible to sign and players who do sign with a CBA team won’t be able negotiate an out when NBA play resumes.

As a rookie, Morris of course does not possess an active NBA contract, but Paul Coro previously reported that Dutt is seeking an opt-out clause to allow the Kansas product to return to Phoenix after the lockout. Presumably that would be the case if Markieff signs in Europe but if it’s China it’s possible the Suns could lose their lottery pick for a year.

This doesn’t mean Morris will necessarily play overseas for sure, though. Like all agents and players this time of year, Dutt is merely seeing what’s out there for his client.

For now, Dutt said Morris “has kept a very busy workout schedule for this summer,” which currently has him working out in Kansas.

Kokoskov leads Georgia to EuroBasket’s qualifying round

The Suns may not have any players participating in EuroBasket due to insurance (Gortat) and injury issues (Pietrus), but Phoenix assistant coach Igor Kokoskov has coached the Republic of Georgia’s national team to the second round of EuroBasket play.

Georgia went 2-3 in the qualifying round, beating Belgium and Ukraine to secure a spot in the round of 12. Igor’s squad will now play FYR Macedonia, Finland and Greece in the hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals.

The top two teams in EuroBasket earn Olympic berths, but Georgia must already take pride in getting this far in its first ever European Championship.

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