Breakout Los Angeles Lakers: 3. Markieff Morris
Markieff Morris was a buyout signing for the Los Angeles Lakers last season and he wound up playing a bigger role than anyone really could have anticipated. While he was not some massive difference-maker, he did make a tangible difference coming off the bench for the Lakers, particularly in the playoffs.
There were several playoff games during the championship run in which Morris hit some big shots for the Lakers. He was not a high output shooter, but he made the shots when he got the chance, either helping maintain momentum or keeping it from flipping.
Morris shot a fantastic 42 percent from beyond the arc in the NBA Playoffs. He made 29 of 69 shots. Only two players in Lakers history have had a better three-point percentage in a single playoffs with as many attempts — Michael Cooper in 1987 (48.6%) and Trevor Ariza in 2009 (47.6%).
Morris even played some small-ball center for the Lakers when they took on the micro-ball Houston Rockets.
Morris’ versatility will be on display off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers and I think as the season goes along he will prove himself and get a bigger role with the team. As it currently stands, Kyle Kuzma is lined up to be the team’s bench wing defender and I think by the time the playoffs roll around Morris will take over that job from Kuzma.
Many casual basketball fans think that Marcus Morris, who signed a $64 million contract in the offseason, is the better Morris twin. I think that Markieff might flip that narrative with a strong season.