After 4 1/2 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Markieff Morris is on the move.
"I had a couple great years in Phoenix, man," Morris told reporters in Phoenix while riding a hoverboard to his car shortly after learning he was traded to the Wizards. Washington sent Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and a protected 2016 first round pick to Phoenix for the athletic power forward.
"Just ready to move on," Morris continued. "My time here was great and I thank the organization for giving me a chance to play here and drafting me. I'm just ready for this new environment in Washington."
Most of those aforementioned great times took place before the current season.
For the struggling Suns (14-40), the deal was about the future, one they decided Morris wouldn't be part of anymore. Phoenix now owns three first round picks in the 2016 draft. The 2015-16 went off the rails early in the campaign and led to the firing of head coach Jeff Hornacek.
After averaging 15.6 points during the 2014-15 season, Markieff Morris' scoring dropped to 11.6 points in 37 games this season. He was suspended two games by the Suns after throwing a towel at Hornacek during an in-game argument. Recently Morris shoved teammate Archie Goodwin during another in-game argument.
The overall bad vibes started in July when Phoenix traded Markieff's twin, Marcus, to the Detroit Pistons. The Morris twins took what were considered discounted contract extensions in 2014 to ensure they would remain together. Soon after Marcus' trade, Markieff said on Twitter, "My future is not in Phoenix."
Despite the recent incident, Morris and Goodwin remained "really close," Goodwin told the Arizona Republic. "For me to have to see him leave so fast is one of those things to where I really wasn't ready for it. But like I say, you've got to continue to move forward. I know he's going to do great things in D.C. and we're going to just continue to improve here.
"I know that he has some feelings toward people here. So for me to see him get out of a situation where he can clear his mind and go in with a free conscience, I know he's going to play really good."
That's the hope in Washington. The Wizards took a calculated risk, but the payoff could be immense, pairing the big man with the dynamic backcourt tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Forward Jared Dudley, who previously played with Morris in Phoenix, envisions his new/old teammate eventually moving into the starting lineup where his strong mid-range shot will be paired with the pass-first Wall. Dudley welcomed Morris to his new home after Thursday's win over Utah
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 19, 2016
Earlier, Morris departed the only place he's called home in the NBA.
"I thank them for having me," Morris said of Suns fans. "I had a great five years here. That's all I can really say. I just thank them."