Morris twins united after Suns, Rockets make trade
The move, officially announced by the Suns on Thursday, unites Marcus with identical twin brother Markieff in Phoenix.
Only once before in NBA history have twins played for the same team, when Dick and Tom Van Arsdale were together with the Suns in 1976-77.
The Suns sent a 2013 second-round draft pick to Houston to get Marcus Morris, who was the 14th pick in the 2011 draft. Markieff was the 13th pick overall by Phoenix. The twins played together at Kansas, and on the same team through all their other levels of basketball until reaching the pros.
To make room for Marcus Morris, Phoenix waived forward Luke Zeller.
Not surprisingly, the brothers were elated with the developments.
''Can't explain this feeling!!!'' Markieff said on twitter shortly after the trade was made official.
On Wednesday night, when news of the trade broke from unnamed sources, Markieff talked about the joy that the reunion will bring.
''I'm super excited,'' Markieff said after the Suns lost at Golden State. ''It can't get no better for me. This is what I definitely wanted from the beginning, to be the same as college. I'm just excited to be able to play with him again. Honestly, all of this has been a dream to me. God is blessing it to be better and better for me and him.''
Marcus was considered to be the better of the two coming out of college but the Suns chose Markieff because he's a bit bigger - 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds - and fit their need for a power forward. In Houston, meanwhile, Marcus - 6-9 and 235 pounds - had to adjust to playing small forward.
This season, Marcus appeared in 54 games for Houston, 17 as a starter, averaging 8.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 21.4 minutes per game, and 38-percent from 3-point range. He had a career-high 29 points against Oklahoma City on Dec. 29. Markieff has had an up and down two seasons in Phoenix. This season, he's averaging 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Markieff is seven minutes older than Marcus.
''We have been intrigued for quite some time about the potential synergy from having both Morris twins on our team,'' said Lon Babby, Suns president for basketball operations, in a news release announcing the trade. ''So we are excited to have the opportunity to welcome Marcus to the Suns.''
In another move, the Suns sent point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for center Hamed Haddadi and a second-round draft pick. The pick either be Sacramento or Toronto's selection, whichever comes later in the round.
Telfair lost his job as backup to Goran Dragic when the Suns parted ways with coach Alvin Gentry and interim coach Lindsey Hunter opted for rookie Kendall Marshall. It will be the seventh team for Telfair since he came to the NBA directly out of high school in 2004. He averaged 6 points and 2.5 assists in 46 games for Phoenix this season.
Haddadi, a 7-foot-2 Iranian, was dealt to Toronto by Memphis as part of the trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Raptors. Haddadi has played in just 13 games this season, all for Memphis, averaging 1.2 points and 1.8 rebounds.
The Suns, at home against Boston on Friday night, are 18-37, the worst record in the Western Conference. Marcus Morris could see his first Suns action Sunday night against San Antonio in Phoenix.
Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx