The Brooklyn Nets need a power forward. Guess what? There are two free agent options in Markieff Morris and Carmelo Anthony.
I didn’t believe it when the clock struck three o’clock (p.m. ET). General manager Sean Marks had passed up the opportunity to make a deal at the deadline. How out of character it seemed.
While the Brooklyn Nets reportedly explored trades for a power forward to fill the gaping hole they have at the four-slot, nothing came to fruition. Fortunately for the fans who’ve awaited a new addition, the buyout market is open for business.
Among names set to hit the market, Markieff Morris presents an intriguing option. And then there’s one more guy, who’s spent a little longer on the buyout market, but has a history in New York basketball: Carmelo Anthony.
Both Anthony and Morris are an ideal fit in coach Kenny Atkinson’s offense. Here’s a look at their games, and just why they fit what the Nets are doing this year:
It’s rare a player of Morris’s stature hits the buyout market, and Brooklyn would be wise to pounce on this opportunity. A career 34-percent shooter from deep, he’s played for just Phoenix and Washington over his seven seasons.
During Thursday’s deadline, Morris was traded to New Orleans, where he was later waived.
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived forward Markieff Morris.
Morris, 6-10, 245, was acquired yesterday along with a 2023 second round draft pick from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Wesley Johnson. pic.twitter.com/AEpvAQAuxp
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 8, 2019
At 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds, Morris would be an ideal fit next to sophomore big man Jarrett Allen. He’s a capable rebounder, defender, and shooter all the same.
That’s not to mention his playoff experience, which would be more than welcome on in Brooklyn. The Nets starting group is an average age of 23, and they’re headed for the playoffs.
Morris, 29, has been to the playoffs twice with the Wizards. He’s played 19 games in the postseason. That’s 19 more than anyone in the Nets starting five.
He’s a veteran on the back nine of his career, but back in October, scored 28 points behind 6-of-10 shooting from deep:
The only issue is Morris’s health at this point in the year. He’s played just 34 games and started only 15. Morris averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game with Washington.
On Jan. 3, the veteran forward was diagnosed with transient cervical neuropraxia.
Injury Update: Keef Morris has been diagnosed with transient cervical neuropraxia.
He will be limited to non-contact basketball activities for the next 6 weeks, after which he is expected to be cleared to return to full basketball activities.https://t.co/qscFU9pgUe
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 3, 2019
Morris was set to miss six weeks with treatment, which would place a return sometime after the All-Star break. The Nets don’t need to rush signing anyone, as the last wave of buyouts will be due on March 1st. That’s more fitting with Morris’ timeline.
Brooklyn’s pitch is simple: Morris will be a near shoo-in for their starting job at the power forward slot, provided he can stay healthy. The Nets are a promising and budding playoff team, and he’s presented with a chance to show how much he can help a young squad.
You may have heard of this guy, Carmelo Anthony, if you’re based out of New York. He only spent seven seasons with the Nets neighboring Knicks. And he’s likely on your Twitter timeline at least once a day during the summer, working out in his trademark hoodie.
Yes, every negative narrative that can be spun about Anthony has been spun. He’s been called a wash, a fraud, and a lot of other demeaning terms, after short stints with both Oklahoma City and Houston.
Still, there are parts to Anthony’s game that represent just what Brooklyn’s lacking. He’s 6-8 and 240 lbs, can space the floor and is a natural spot-up shooter from deep.
A career 35-percent shooter from three, Anthony can also contribute off the glass. He’s averaged no less than five rebounds his entire career and posted a career-high 7.7 in 2015-2016.
His best game over 10 appearances with the Houston Rockets? A 28-point night in a win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Anthony’s got ties to New York as a state, and him signing with Brooklyn almost seems like a win-win for both sides. The Nets get a three-point shooter and good veteran for their locker room.
Carmelo, on the other hand, gets one more shot at showing what he’s got left in the tank. He can use a young playoff team like the Nets as a platform to showcase what he brings to the table.
There’s no doubt Anthony isn’t ready to call it quits, nor is he ready to team up with Jimmer Fredette to from the Chinese league’s first super team.
So, he signs in Brooklyn.
Anthony gets a real shot at earning rapport among the NBA’s coaches and executives, with a player’s coach in Atkinson. It seems like the ultimate chess move for a guy seemingly hanging onto his career with his fingertips.
Carmelo Anthony had a vintage moment in Barclays Center this season. Could he put together a vintage comeback with Brooklyn all the same?
Whether it be Markieff Morris or Carmelo Anthony, the Brooklyn Nets should turn to the NBA’s buyout market for their next addition. There are more than enough guys who can contribute, and their sales pitch is compelling.
Until then, Brooklyn will travel to Toronto to face-off with Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors. Tip-off is on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.