Luke Zeller released by Suns to complete Marcus Morris deal

Posted by on February 21st, 9:10 am

Update (10:55 a.m. MST):The Phoenix Suns officially announced the acquisition of Marcus Morris from the Houston Rockets in exchange for the Suns’ 2013 second round draft pick on Thursday. They also released forward Luke Zeller.

“We have been intrigued for quite some time about the potential synergy from having both of the Morris twins on our team. So we are excited to have the opportunity to welcome Marcus to the Suns,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said in a team release.

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Stretch big man Luke Zeller was released by the Phoenix Suns early Thursday morning to make way for the team’s acquisition of forward Marcus Morris, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard. As of Wednesday, many believed that Jermaine O’Neal would be traded or released, but it appears that the Zeller move will sidestep that possibility.

Zeller averaged 1.2 points and 0.6 rebounds in 16 appearances for the Suns.

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Update (10:10 a.m. MST): ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that it’s a good chance the Suns acquire Hamed Haddadi and a second rounder in exchange for Sebastian Telfair. Haddadi is a 7-foot-2, 27-year-old center from Iran.

At the same time, the Suns appear to be working further on a trade of point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for a second-round pick. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski called Phoenix the frontrunner, and 620′s John Gambadoro believes the likelihood of that being completed is 50-50 as of 8 a.m. MST. ESPN Insider Nick Borges throws out a couple of scenarios in a Telfair deal:

Telfair is on the books for $1.56 million and Toronto could send Hamed Haddadi ($1.3 million) or John Lucas ($1.5 million), along with cash or a second round pick back to the Suns.

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The Suns are also still in the Josh Smith conversation, according to Wojnarowski. Though Gambadoro maintains Phoenix has zero interest, reports say that the Hawks are bent on sending Smith to the Western Conference.

Milwaukee remains in the picture as well, although the Bucks are trying to complete the trade without including guard Monta Ellis. That could be the major hangup that is keeping the Bucks in the lead but with other suitors, like the Suns, still in the conversation.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Luke Zeller · Phoenix Suns Rumors

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 21, 2013 at 9:21 am

    BREAKING NEWS: Lon Babby to trade himself to Chompie’s in Scottsdale.

  • 2 Kevin Zimmerman // Feb 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

    @BoomShakaLuka Sources telling me deal is hung up as Chompie’s unwilling to include raisin bagel in deal. They still like raisin bagel’s steadiness as go-to breakfast food.

  • 3 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

    @Kevin Zimmerman
    UPDATE: Lon Babby refuses to report to Chompie’s even though he traded himself there. Was seen hitchhiking on Loop 101 to reach Lance Blanks on phone.

  • 4 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

    @Kevin Zimmerman
    Babby refuses to report to Chompie’s even though he traded himself there. Was seen hitchhiking on Loop 101 to reach Lance Blanks on phone. A resreuctured deal could include sending Lon Babby out of town, and an undisclosed amount of day old bagels back to the Suns.

  • 5 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    @Kevin Zimmerman
    Lon Babby refusing to report to Chompie’s even though he traded himself there. Babby was seen hitchhiking on Loop 101, after failing to reach Robert Sarver or Lance Blanks by phone. A restructured deal could include sending Lon Babby out of town, and an undisclosed amount of day old bagels back to the Suns.

  • 6 SkyBill40 // Feb 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Zeller should never have been picked up by the team anyway. The Suns had a chance to get a more well rounded player in Ike Diogu but instead chose Zeller and Garrett instead. What a waste.

  • 7 effyewe // Feb 21, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Interesting pickup for the Suns, I do not see where this benefits them nor do I see this hurting the Team. I am concerned with how these minutes will be distributed though. Zeller DNP most of the time, Marcus played in Houston all but 1 game. This must mean that someone else is out at PF or someone else’s minutes are getting cut…Hmm Coach what to do what to do?

  • 8 bkkkkkkkk // Feb 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

    That will focus the coach to play Beasley at Center. That will increase his FG% and hence consistence and confidence. Then, the Morris Twins, Tucker and Scola can share the forwards minutes evenly.

  • 9 SkyBill40 // Feb 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

    @bkkkkkkkk Beasley at center? Are you mad? He can barely handle himself at the SF position as it is, and I certainly don’t see him managing the pivot. He’s got quickness and can shoot, but he doesn’t have the height or the size in general. If they’re going to trade off Gortat, they’ll end up getting a direct replacement to fill his spot. If not, the FO is far stupider than we expect.
     
    Hell, I’d rather they start O’Neal over Beasley. At least he’s got size and knows the position well.

  • 10 effyewe // Feb 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Beas @ center? Interesting view…seems JO is primarily the center if Gortat isn’t playing, but if they go small I guess I could see that working.

  • 11 SkyBill40 // Feb 21, 2013 at 11:53 am

    @effyewe I’d rather they stretch Markieff to the pivot and play Marcus at the four if it came to that. Leave Beasley at the three and call it good. If Frye were back, that might be different despite me not being a fan of him firing it up every time he gets his hands on it.

  • 12 effyewe // Feb 21, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Also, Suns are expected to send Bassy to Tor for Haddadi so that could mean JO is off to NY, either way the Suns are still completely stacked at PF and lacking a SG that is why this pick up was odd @SkyBill40 @bkkkkkkkk

  • 13 SkyBill40 // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    @effyewe  I knew there was something with TOR in the works as far as Haddadi was concerned, but I didn’t know it was as concrete as you make it sound. I can’t say I’m a fan of that deal since Telfair is a far better player and more useful than Haddadi or Mashall, but the FO doesn’t seem to realize that. I still believe they should have done more to get Rudy Gay. Sure, he was spendy… but he could have been a perfect fit here. Why can’t the Beasley experiment just be over already?

  • 14 effyewe // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Bye Bassy :(, theyre goes that center spot i was just talkin about

  • 15 effyewe // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    haddadi deal just happened!

  • 16 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    The Suns just traded for Jake Tsakalidis 2.0.

  • 17 ojai1980 // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    At least the Suns are getting some picks in return for players. Bassy hasn’t been in the rotation so better to get something for nothing. Hopefully the pick the Suns sent to Houston was the Denver 2nd rounder. Anyone at VOTS have any info on that? Hopefully JO gets moved and maybe some team panics in the last 15 minutes prior to the deadline and the Suns can fleece them of a 1st ala Houston/Phoenix circa 2011. Go Suns.

  • 18 4everis2long // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I would have been even happier with a second round pick  or simply a pick for future consideration for Marshall.

  • 19 ojai1980 // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    BTW, Is it just me or does it seem like Gortat wanted out of Phoenix by the trade deadline but really screwed the pooch with his inconsistent play. Last night he could’ve shown his value to a contender, (I’m looking at you OKC), but came out and played mediocre/poorly at best. Even if I wanted to alleviate some cap pressure for my team why, as the GM of OKC would I give a pick, a young talent, and a defensive center who doesn’t need the ball in his hands for Gortat, who has been crying about not getting enough touches already! Gortat F’ed himself in the last three weeks. Go Suns.

  • 20 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    @ojai1980 Gortat needs to be benched IMO. I’d start O’Neal at C, and let Hadaddi get some minutes at C. Promote Gortat to VP of Kielbasas.

  • 21 4everis2long // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    @ojai1980 I read somewhere it was the Suns own 2nd round pick. I definitely agree with ya about Gortat killing his value. OKC probably had some interest considering how Miami destroyed them and they lost to Houston last night but Gortat has not shown anything recently.. He looks more like the Polish Sausage than the Polish Hammer.

  • 22 bkkkkkkkk // Feb 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    @effyewe You will need him dedicated more at the low-post where he is the most effective. There is a chart showing his FG% in various area. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1537878-one-major-adjustment-phoenix-suns-must-make-in-seasons-second-half

  • 23 TySun // Feb 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Well, so far these two trades seem pretty pointless.  We gave away a 2nd round pick to acquire another Morris and then gave away Telfair to acquire another 2nd round pick in next year’s draft and Haddadi.  With O’Neal likely to miss some games in March when his daughter has heart surgery, perhaps Haddadi will be a little useful.

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