Suns trade Marcus Morris, 2 others, clear space for Aldridge pursuit

The Suns have split up the Morris twins, sending Marcus Morris (right) to the Detroit Pistons. 

Joe Camporeale/Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns frantic off-season of roster rearrangement continued Thursday with reports that Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock were being traded to the Detroit Pistons in a move specifically resigned to free up salary-cap space for free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The Suns received a second-round draft pick in 2020 from the Pistons in a deal first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

The trade freed up about $8.5 million in cap space, but they would have to move another piece to offer a max contract to Aldridge.

There’s been speculation that the other piece to move could be Morris’ twin brother Markieff, but the Suns would clearly be hesitant to do that unless they are assured of signing Aldridge. Aldridge remains on the shopping list for several other teams — most notably the San Antonio Spurs — and also scheduled a do-over meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers after apparently being unimpressed by an initial meeting with the team.

Of the three players the Suns shed on Thursday, only Morris had a significant role. In 81 games (35 starts), he averaged 10.4 points and was one of their more prolific and successful 3-point shooters, connecting on 112 3-pointers (35.8 percent). He’s played 186 games for Phoenix since being acquired in a 2013 trade-deadline deal. He was one of three small forwards on the roster, along with P.J. Tucker and T.J. Warren.

He and his brother are facing charges related to a January brawl at a Phoenix recreational center.

Thursday’s move comes a day after the Suns re-signed guard Brandon Knight and signed center Tyson Chandler. They also traded for stretch forward Jon Leuer last week.

The Suns met with Aldridge, one of the top available NBA free agents this summer, on Wednesday after signing Chandler and re-signing Knight. Suns officials brought Chandler, Knight and guard Eric Bledsoe to their meeting with Aldridge, showing they are serious about building a contender in the desert.