Phoenix Suns exercise 2014-15 options on Morris twins, Plumlee


The Phoenix Suns picked up the 2014-15 team options on Markieff and Marcus Morris as well as Miles Plumlee. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Phoenix Suns picked up the 2014-15 team options on Markieff and Marcus Morris as well as Miles Plumlee. (AP Photo/Matt York)

A day after finishing their offseason trading spree for assets, the Phoenix Suns checked off another item on their offseason to-do list by picking up the 2014-15 team options on the rookie contracts of Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris and Miles Plumlee.

As I explained earlier in the week, these were pretty easy decisions for the Suns. Markieff will make $2,989,239, Marcus $2,943,221 and Plumlee $1,169,880 in 2014-15.

The Suns now have eight players under contract for 2014-15 for $30.4 million. That gives them plenty of cash to sign Eric Bledsoe to a lucrative extension, pay their potential four first-round picks and have some change left over.

We will have a better sense of their 2014-15 cap number once things are finalized with Bledsoe (or if they aren’t finalized, we’ll have to wait until next offseason for that clarity). The team’s cap holds on their draft picks are difficult to project with so much variability in the number of draft picks they will hold and where they will fall. With an estimated $62.1 million salary cap threshold and all the flexibility those draft picks provide, the Suns likely would have the currency to create max cap space if they so desire. Keeping some of that powder dry and continuing to use cap space to facilitate smart moves as they have done throughout this offseason might be a more likely option.

Plumlee’s pickup was a no-brainer considering how low his salary is for a guy currently pencilled in as the team’s starting center. Even once he settles in as a backup when Alex Len is ready to start, that salary could be a bargain if Plumlee continues to show the improvement he did during the preseason.

The Morris twins may have caused at least a second thought since they will make $6 million together, and it would be hard for the Suns to keep one player’s option and decline the other based on how close the brothers are. With all the cap flexibility the Suns hold, it makes sense to keep them under control for these next two seasons before having to make a decision on whether they belong as longer-term pieces.

The prices are low enough that they could be traded pretty easily, and there is not much of an opportunity cost since it’s unlikely that $6 million of 2014-15 cap space will prevent the Suns from making any moves next offseason considering how flush with space they are. If the twins ever find some consistency, those contracts could end up being a great deal for Phoenix, and if nothing else they provide solid depth at the forward spots.

With Gortat dealt and all the rookie contract decisions made, Ryan McDonough’s key focus the next five days will involve negotiating Eric Bledsoe’s contract extension. The GM told Arizona Sports earlier in the week that the team is “hoping to get something done.” Bledsoe’s value is tough to peg because he’s talented enough to be known as mini-LeBron, yet this year will be his first opportunity to start. He could become a breakout star this campaign or his flaws could be exposed with the additional minutes.

My gut says the Suns finish out their stellar offseason by coming to terms with Bledsoe, and if not they will enter next offseason with the Kentucky product as a coveted restricted free agent.

Tags: Eric Bledsoe Marcus Morris Markieff Morris Miles Plumlee

  • DBreezy

    Plumlee was a no brainer. I tend to think they’ll regret the Morii decision but it’s cost is minimal in the grand scheme of things. 3M a piece for players who may not even start as this season goes on and may be out of or on the fringe of the rotation next season seems a bit much market wise, but McD has more than earned the benefit of the doubt. Besides the Suns should have good salary flexibility next season.

  • http://none Keith

    I agree, Schwartz. I think we’re going to sign Bledsoe too. In any event, good decisions on the options. Plumlee has had quite a showing and is needed with our thin front court. Morrises played reasonably well in preseason and may just turn out to be decent players yet. They are certainly worth those paltry contracts and one more chance. McD keeps making all the right moves.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    @ DBreezy from previous article…..common mistake

    Clemenza was outside the car taking a piss when Paulie Gatto was shot….think about it…who was in the back seat of the car that shot Paulie ?

    Sorry, Michael Schwartz, no disrespect intended on your article…but this is important…LOL

  • http://none Keith

    ummm, maybe take it somewhere else, guys? lol

  • Ty-Sun

    If the M&M twins just start playing consistent ball I will be happy. But I think we may see a lot of that this year with so many young players on this team. But that’s going to be one of the things that makes them exciting – and infuriating at times – to watch.

    But the most interesting thing to watch for is how both the team and the individual players progress (or not) during the season. For everyone who want to win now, this season will suck. For those of us who believe in the rebuilding process, even the losses will be interesting if not always exciting.

  • DBreezy

    Excellent Hawki! I really didn’t think long about that one because of the famous quotes which makes it a great trivia question. The answer I believe would be Rocco Lampone(sp)?

  • DBreezy

    Oh and sorry Keith, we’ll be here all year, call Ticketmaster :)

  • http://none Keith

    Ever heard of AIM, Facebook, Twitter, etc?

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    @ DBreezy
    Yes. it was Rocco Lampone who killed Paulie Gatto…..who along with Al Neri (dressesd as a policeman) killed Barzini on the courthouse steps to become Michael’s 2 most trusted underlings.

    Michael Schwartz…promise not to make it a habit ….thanks for your patience…the Mo Bros can only be dissected for so long :)

  • EBJM

    So now the Suns are keeping twins as a package deal?

    I wish they felt that strongly with Robin and brought Brook here,

    Why stop with twins? Brothers are close. When we had Taylor why wasn’t Blake brought in? BTW Taylor was just cut by the Bobcats.

    Now that Miles is doing well we need to obtain Mason from Cleeland and then draft Marshall!

    WTF? Release both of them and the problem is solved!

    The “Original” Sun, Dick Van Arsdale had a fine career playing without his identical twin Tom until Phoenix bought him in late in their careers for a season mostly as a novelty.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    @ EBJM

    If the Suns draft the Wear twin from UCLA, I will jump off the freaking Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Scott

    While I don’t dislike the twins, I’ve been less than impressed with their performance this summer / pre-season. If they’d not been extended, I’d have been fine with that. I’m concerned that what we’re seeing is their peak.

    Since they have been extended, my hope is it was done in order to make them more attractive for trade.

  • Scott

    @EBJM -

    Seth Curry is available now … and the Suns have an open roster spot.

  • john

    Make room for Stephen, haha. Let’s get the deal done.

  • foreveris2long

    Scott, I do not think Seth Curry is available.Warriors I believe designated three players to some development squad, Dedmond, Curry and one other player, that protects the 3 players from other teams selecting them.

    I would not have kept the twins but I guess we have to keep somone.

  • EBJM

    Now his star brother Stephen didn’t cop an attitude when little brother was cut.

    But I prefer re-signing former Sun Diante Garrett, he is 6′-5″ with a wingspan of 6’9″. He did a great job running the point while here and gives then the extra size and length that Ish Smith is lacking. But to stay with the family theme, his father is former NBA and Southern Illinois University star SG Dick Garrett.

  • Scott

    I’d rather try someone new instead of re-inviting Garrett.

  • DBreezy

    “Ever heard of AIM, Facebook, Twitter, etc?”

    Nope just telex, carrier pigeon, and fisher price walkie talkie.

  • DBreezy

    Scott,

    I would agree with your thoughts on the twins in general although I’m hoping they can at least become consistent if not special rotation contributors on a winning team. Something like Nick Collison does for the Thunder.

  • Azbballfan

    I expect the Suns to ship Dragic, the Morris Twins, and the timberwolves and wizards pick in a deal on draft night for a star to pair with Bledsoe, Goodwin, Len, and our own lotto pick which should be top 4

    thats just my prediction

  • Luka

    Lamarcus Aldridge perhaps?

  • Azbballfan

    Could be, McStunna has shown interest in Alrdrige before

  • RudeCerveza

    So, that’s where you’ve been hiding guys. How have you been? Hopefully not as miserable as the Suns.

    Any predictions on this season? I’m going with 30 wins. Yeah, I’m still me and I firmly believe the Suns will somehow manage not to suck enough to get Wiggins. I don’t think Morris twins can make <20 wins happen. Beasley could help, Brown could help, but these guys… I don't know, most of them I like.

  • DBreezy

    What’s up Rude! I haven’t really thought about win total as I don’t think it means anything this season, but I’ll go with 18. Not many teams win less than 20 in a season, but those that do usually are very young squads that stumble out of the gate mightily. The Suns seem primed for that. But they have the outline of a plan for the first time in a long time so I’m good.

    (old David1787)

  • foreveris2long

    Rude, Good to see ya on board the Suns Express again. Last year several of us were thrown overboard as the team was speeding going no where fast.

    I said before preseason 18 was the number with 20 being the maximum. Then after I saw Green and Plumlee exceed my expectations I thought they would win 20 to 25. Now with no Gortat and Len needing a lot of work I am with DBreezy at 18 again. Though I expect fewer wins than last year,IMO the ride should be more enjoyable because we have direction.

  • Animan

    Am I the only one who feels like we should pick up Royce White? If his medical issues subside, he has star potential, and Phoenix has been known as the medical haven of the NBA-verse

  • Sunsn7

    Hornacek must see Emeka Okafor serving the role of a Mark West…

  • http://none Keith

    I am saying 20 games right now. Anything from 13 to 30 is possible, but I think 18-24 is where it’s at.

  • DBreezy

    18, 20, or 30 the interesting part with a team like this is picking which ones will be W’s.

  • SueB

    Well, this is weird. Hi, folks. Good to see some of the old crew again.

  • Foreveris2long

    Sue great to have you on board again. This should be a more enjoyable ride this season watching the kids and free agents grow together.

  • Evan

    If we are going to Trade players plus more than 1 pick we better be getting something better than Aldrige, we dont know who the Suns will try and trade for but let me put this out there…lets say the Bulls bomb and Rose demands a trade…or the Thunder do badly and Durant/Westbrook demands a trade…its possible. We could end up with Aldrige AND Rose/Durant/Westbrook then we pitch Melo to come to Phoenix to make a simply great big 3, that would instantly become NBA finals favorites…nice to think about, lets see how it all plays out.