ValleyoftheSuns Live: The Suns are officially tanking & more on the Morris twins

Posted by on March 27th, 7:59 pm


Hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband because the Phoenix Suns are tanking out here. As Paul Coro reported from Utah prior to the Suns’ game against the Jazz, that the Suns front office was holding out point guard Goran Dragic against a Jazz team that can theoretically chase down the Los Angeles Lakers, thereby giving Phoenix a second lottery selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The move goes against what president of basketball operations Lon Babby said this offseason. Though the context was regarding the Suns’ season as a whole and not a single game, Babby said he was against tanking, as Michael Schwartz wrote in October.

“How do you go to work every day and how do you lead a group of people both in an organization and players playing to make their living when either the conscious message or the subliminal message is ‘We want to lose’?” Babby asked. “I don’t know how to do that. So does that condemn us to purgatory for longer? I hope not. Could you come to work every day if you thought your boss was trying to be bad? How long does that take and how many front offices use it as an excuse?”

In this situation however, it would appear Phoenix is doing the right thing considering that more than percentages are on the line. This isn’t about the fourth-worst team getting a lucky lottery ball bounce; this is getting a lottery pick altogether.

In the Google Hangout above, Ryan Weisert and I discuss the decision to tank, along with the playoff picture with the Lakers floundering. Finally we chat about the recent play of Wes Johnson and the Morris twins.

  • 0:00 — Ryan and I talking about this sudden decision to tank and how the playoff picture looks.
  • 4:22 — We reflect on the Suns’ play of late.
  • 7:20 — Breaking down the young Suns, starting with Kendall Marshall and then discussing Wes Johnson.
  • 11:10 — We get to the Morris twins and their play while also touching on their relationship (as discussed below).
  • 15:00 — Ryan makes a good point about how much the Suns miss Channing Frye and how he even helps this struggling team.
  • 16:45 — We get into the NBA draft prospects available and Ryan reps his boy, Victor Oladipo.

Morris twins too reliant on one another?

I don’t mean this as an attack on the relationships between twins, because I’m not one myself and can’t imagine the bond involved between them. The New York Times’ story on the Morris twins — and twins playing pro sports in general — provides a great deal of evidence that there’s a strong support system between the Morris twins.

But this isn’t Neverland.

While in theory it’s nice that the Suns were providing for Markieff Morris when they traded for brother Marcus, it’s concerning that Bill Self told Alvin Gentry that he’d get the most effort out of Markieff by trading for his brother.

It’s concerning that Marcus is referred to as “Markieff batteries,” because a player needing any more motivation other than proving he’s worth a lottery pick is an issue as well.

And it’s an issue that the twins might find themselves in slumps because, well, their twin is struggling.

“They said ’Kieff hit a rookie wall,’ ” Angel Morris, the Morrises’ mother, told the Times. “I don’t think it was a rookie wall. I just think that when they sent Marcus to the D-League, he was so depressed that ’Kieff felt the same depression.”

Maybe the trade was a nice way to bring out the potential of both twins.

But there’s a good chance the duo will have to face separation once again down the road. If they’re ready to perform with or without their sibling will determine how good they’ll become.

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.

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Tags: Goran Dragic · Marcus Morris · Markieff Morris · Phoenix Suns Analysis

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 foreveris2long // Mar 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Markieff is a lifetime backup period. Never should have been a lottery pick.

  • 2 bill.thomas // Mar 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    He had a good stat line tonight. Telfair and Shannon are lifetime backups.

  • 3 DBreezy // Mar 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Playing all those minutes tonight slowed Kendall down from getting his tweets out, but as of 4mins ago he’s back in the mix. I feel better.

  • 4 Scott // Mar 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    @forever -

    If he was hitting 3s and jumpers, Markieff would be a lot better. But he isn’t.

    I expected him to work on his shooting over the summer, but if he did, there is no sign of improvement.

    Assuming the Morris twins aren’t really going to work out, and assuming Frye will be forced into medical retirement, what about the following trade?

    I’ve mentioned this, or variations of this, before: trade Scola and Dudley to Boston for Green, Sullinger, and either Fab Melo, or a future first round pick, or whoever the Celtics pick up this year in the draft (as this trade cannot be completed till Scola comes available on July 1, and the draft occurs on June 27).

  • 5 foreveris2long // Mar 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Bill, Markieff cannot guard his shadow in the low post. I think he will always be a career bench player.

  • 6 John Waller // Mar 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    My big this is the Kendall Marshall thing. I have been really upset at the lack of playing time. I don’t like the judgments about it only because he doesn’t get much playing time.

    Its interesting but if I was drafting for the Suns last year I would have definitely gotten Marshall, and definitely would have gotten Dragic. I would have started Marshall midway through the season. Still, we have no idea what that would look like. Still not excersizing our team enough, which is crazy to me. Next season early we will still not know exactly what we have.

  • 7 THEDRAGON!!!!! // Mar 27, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    The dragon is awesome!

  • 8 THEDRAGON!!!!! // Mar 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I would not even consider starting marshal after Dragic’s awesome game against the nets. Although I am definitely for tanking the rest of the season. I think it’s good the suns aren’t playing Dragic right now. The higher we get in the draft, the better. Dragic showed us what he is capable of in the game against the nets. Just surround him with some good players and he will light it up.

  • 9 Scott // Mar 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    @John Waller -

    Hopefully Marshall spends the summer becoming comfortable with scoring and develops 1) a floater, and 2) a crafty bump-the-defender-and-shoot move. If he does that, then his play next year will look a lot better than his play this year.

    As for the rest of the team, I assume Gortat, Scola, and Dudley will be up for trade; Beasley and the 2 Morrises will be expiring contracts available for trade but no one will want them; the Suns will try to re-sign Wes Johnson; and Brown, O’Neal, Haddadi and Garrett probably won’t be returning, as the Suns have 4 draft picks coming their way and need room on the roster.

    Frye will either be back in the fold or will take a medical retirement. If he retires, it is possible the Suns will attempt to trade him to another team seeking salary / tax relief.

  • 10 bill.thomas // Mar 28, 2013 at 12:09 am

    @foreveristoolong: I’m not sure I could make a layup vs. the Beast !!!

  • 11 bill.thomas // Mar 28, 2013 at 12:12 am

    @Scott: Hopefully Marshall uses the Summer to be comfo hanging out, esp. with his GF.

  • 12 bill.thomas // Mar 28, 2013 at 12:16 am

    @Scott: Are you kidding me, the whole League will be all over Beasley and the two Morris’s. Our prob. will be where to place them .Everyone will want them!!! Wow.

  • 13 bill.thomas // Mar 28, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Enter the Dragon !!!!!!

  • 14 Forever is2long // Mar 28, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Scott, If we could get Jeff Green and Sullinger or Fab Melo for Dudley and Gortat/Scola, I would be all over it.

  • 15 Sacramento Kings (26-46) at Phoenix Suns (23-49) // Mar 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    [...] But Lindsey Hunter and Co. took that to a whole new level in Salt Lake City Wednesday. The Suns interim coach “rested” point guard Goran Dragic, who was arguably coming off his best game of the season, despite the fact his team had two days off between games. Phoenix obviously was overmatched in the 103-88 defeat, and for the first time all season it raised the question: Are the Suns actually tanking? [...]

  • 16 BCrayZ // Mar 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Babby said that he does not want this team to tank.

    Problem is…Bannu lies. He is a shameless compulsive liar.

    When we want to know his plan, what we need to do is turn what he says upside down.

    What he does is push Steve Nash, possibly the best team player & offensive player of his generation out the door. But he claims that he does not want to tank? What he does is push Grant Hill, possibly the best all around player of this same generation, out the door. But he claims that he does not want to tank? What he does is show Barbosa, a seasoned but still young & fast high scoring go-to guy who would have filled a gapong hole here & wanted to come back here for the vet. minimum, the door. B

  • 17 BCrayZ // Mar 31, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Babby said that he does not want this team to tank.

    Problem is…Babby lies. He is a shameless compulsive liar.

    When we want to know his plan, what we need to do is turn what he says upside down.

    What he does is push Steve Nash, possibly the best team player & offensive player of his generation, out the door. But he claims that he does not want to tank? What he does is push Grant Hill, possibly the best all around player of this same generation, out the door. But he claims that he does not want to tank? What he does is show Barbosa (The Brazilian Blur), a seasoned but still young & fast high scoring go-to guy who would have filled a gaping hole here & wanted to come back here for the vet. minimum, the door. But he claims he does not want to tank? What he does is also show another member of “that killer bench unit” (Louis), that high energy defensive & rebounding 4 who could have filled another gaping hole & also wanted to come back here for the vet. minimum, the door. But he claims that he does not want to tank? What he does is make no reasonable effort to land James Harden, who has his mom & other family here & wanted to come back to play here. But he claims that he does not want to tank? What he does is to toss all of us fans, the players & former coach Gentry under the bus so he can make this team suck so bad that he has his best shot at gaining negotiating leverage over a desperate owner for his own deal. But he claims that he does not want to tank? Liar…liar…pants on fire.

Leave a Comment