Los Angeles Lakers: Markieff Morris a self-proclaimed x-factor

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Markieff Morris is planning on being an x-factor for the Los Angeles Lakers the remainder of this season.

The Los Angeles Lakers shook up their roster this week. After not completing a deal prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, the team was expected to be players in the buyout market.

While they did not add anyone in the first wave of buyouts, the Lakers finally struck by signing Markieff Morris. The team was actively trying to acquire his twin brother, Marcus Morris, from the New York Knicks before the deadline, but the LA Clippers beat them out.

To make room for Morris on the roster, the Lakers needed to waive someone as they were at the maximum. They settled on waiving the injured DeMarcus Cousins, who will stay around the team, continuing his ACL rehab.

In Morris, the Lakers are getting a tough, versatile player that can fill multiple roles on the team. He can play some minutes at both power forward and center, which helps the team’s depth. It also gives Frank Vogel some insurance in case an injury occurs in the frontcourt, as it was arguably the team’s weakest in terms of depth.

Having Morris active means Vogel can also experiment with some small-ball lineups. At times this season, they have struggled against teams that have played small. No matter what role Morris plays for the Lakers, he is ready and expects to be an x-factor for the team going forward.


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Getting Kyle Kuzma to his more natural position will be a welcomed sight. He has struggled at times this season adapting to his new role off the bench, playing a lot of power forward. If Morris allows Kuzma to get more comfortable on the court, it is a win for the Lakers.

While a lot of Kuzma’s drop in stats can be attributed to the addition of Anthony Davis, which means fewer minutes and touches, he has looked out of place at times during the season.

Kuzma isn’t the only person whose job should become easier with Morris in the fold. Davis’ life should also become easier, as it gives the team another big body to bang inside and take the pressure off of him.

The playmakers should also enjoy playing with Morris. He knocked down a career-high 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers with the Detroit Pistons this season, giving the Lakers another floor spacer to open up the middle for LeBron James and Davis to operate.

Morris played 15 minutes in his Lakers’ debut, scoring four points with one rebound and one block.

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His arrival meant someone would play fewer minutes, and for the first night, it was Kuzma and Rajon Rondo who received less playing time. Both players received only 12 minutes, as Vogel rode the hot hand from Alex Caruso and got Morris’ feet wet in his first game with the team.