By all accounts, Markieff Morris' relationship with the Suns had deteriorated beyond repair by the time he was traded to the Wizards last week. Now he and his brother Marcus are speaking out about why.
The Morris twins told their side of the story to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report in an article published Monday.
The 5,000-word piece is a long read and seems to have been in the works weeks before the trade even happened, but it contains a number of interesting nuggets for Wizards fans.
First, the brothers explained that their problems with the Suns boiled down to feeling misled -- not an inability to play apart.
The pair signed a joint contract extension in 2014 for less money than they'd get separately in order to stay together in Phoenix, only for the team trade away Marcus without warning.
This from Bucher:
The twins are asked the same question now, albeit separately, some 2,000 miles apart: What is the biggest misconception about what has transpired since you've been split up? The answer is the same. "Everybody thinking that we're upset because we don't get to play with each other," says Marcus, legs stretched in front of him after a Pistons practice in late January. "Kieff can't deal with adversity? We're from north Philadelphia. This isn't adversity. This is betrayal."
Another item of note: the Wizards weren't the only team interested in Markieff despite a string of unseemly incidents over the past year (publicly asking for a trade, throwing a towel at former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek and shoving teammate Archie Goodwin).
While some media outlets portrayed Markieff's market value was portrayed as low, the Wizards weren't the only team interested in acquiring him. The Orlando Magic, a league source says, attempted to acquire him right after Marcus was dealt, offering former Sun and fan favorite Channing Frye. The Cavaliers and Bulls expressed interest at some point as well, league sources say, along with the Pistons, who at least entertained the idea of reuniting the twins.
So how did Washington decide to take a chance on Markieff? They reached out to Hornacek, who vouched for him:
Among the reasons the Wizards aren't worried about Markieff's volatility is because they reached out to Hornacek, who was fired Feb. 2 and replaced by Watson. Although Hornacek was publicly critical at times of Markieff's effort, a league source says Hornacek gave his stamp of approval to the Wizards when asked about him.
Hornacek was just one of many current and former Suns to endorse Markieff's professionalism. Tyson Chandler, Goran Dragic, Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker and Goodwin all spoke positively about him in the Bleacher Report piece.
There is the not-so-small matter of felony assault charges filed against both Marcus and Markieff stemming from an altercation in January 2015. For what it's worth, sources close to the Morris twins and the Suns organization told Bucher that they don't expect the charges to stand up to scrutiny.
MORE WIZARDS: Family dinner, 1st Wizards practice set Morris at ease