As Markieff Morris has yet to clear waivers, here are three reasons why the Houston Rockets should put a waiver claim in for him.
In case you didn’t know, Markieff Morris was officially bought out by the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, meaning he has 48 hours to clear waivers before officially becoming a free agent. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Morris plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers if he does clear waivers, but could the Houston Rockets prevent this from happening?
As John Hollinger of The Athletic stated, the Rockets could technically put in a waiver claim for Morris, which would be a smart move. The Rockets landed a trade exception of $3.59 million when they traded Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks, which could be used to claim Morris off of waivers. In case you’re unfamiliar, a trade exception can be used for claiming a player off waivers, which was pointed out by national capologist Eric Pincus.
It would be a wise move for the Rockets to put a waiver claim in on Morris for a variety of reasons. For one, it would give the Rockets a quality 3-and-D player and it would also give the Rockets yet another veteran for Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni to add to the rotation.
Obviously the Rockets don’t have the current roster space to add anyone to the roster, but they could change that by releasing Chris Clemons or Isaiah Hartenstein, which we explained following the news of the Lakers releasing DeMarcus Cousins to make room for Morris. This wouldn’t have much of an impact on the court, as both of the aforementioned players aren’t in Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s lineups since he doesn’t necessarily value giving playing time to developmental players. This also explains why the Rockets released former 3-and-D forward Gary Clark earlier in the season.
Hartenstein and Clemons are also both on non-guaranteed contracts for the 2020-21 season so the financial repercussions would be fairly low if the Houston Rockets do indeed go in that direction. Markieff Morris is currently set to make $3.2 million this season, and the Rockets are roughly five million below the tax threshold, meaning they could land him and still duck the tax, which we know is important to Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.
This was explained by ESPN’s Bobby Marks following the news of the buyout.
Morris is eligible to be claimed by a team with a trade exception. The buyout in Detroit would be voided and the new team would be on the hook for his remaining salary this year and the $3.6M player option in 2020/21. Teams with a big enough TE include Houston ($3.6M). https://t.co/oMgLzgro48
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 21, 2020
With the 48-hour window approaching, here are three reasons why the Rockets should put in a waiver claim for Morris.
Next: No. 3