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Morris speaks: 'Just ready to move on'


Morris speaks: 'Just ready to move on'

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

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."

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson


Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jerome Robinson

School: Boston College
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 21
Height: 6-5
Weight: 188
Wingspan: 6-7
Max vertical: N/A

2017/18 stats: 20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.9 3PT% (2.3 3PT/5.7 3PA), 83.0 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 29th, NBADraft.net 16th, Bleacher Report 19th, Sports Illustrated 17th

5 things to know:

*A three-year player at BC, Robinson developed into a big-time scorer before making the leap to the NBA. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and then 20.7 points as a junior while improving his shooting percentages across the board. He went from 42.3 percent from the field as a sophomore to 48.5 in 2017-18.

*Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter. After shooting just 33.3 percent as a sophomore, he got that up to 40.9 percent as a junior and on 5.7 attempts per game. That trajectory bodes well for Robinson's chances at the next level.

*He has a quick release on his jumper, giving him the ability to be effective on catch-and-shoot plays off screens. Robinson could develop into a reliable scorer who doesn't need the ball in his hands as a primary focus of the offense. He also showed the ability to throw down some powerful dunks and finish with creativity at the rim. He didn't record a vertical leap at the NBA Combine, but playing above and around the rim didn't appear to be a problem in college.

*Though it didn't show in his last season at Boston College, Robinson was adept at forcing turnovers in his first two years. He averaged 1.6 steals per game across his freshman and sophomore seasons and 16 times in his career had three steals or more in a game.

*Questions for Robinson would include his versatility and speed. Some draft evaluators wonder if he will be able to get separation off the dribble at the NBA level. Also, he put up decent rebounding and assists numbers in college but didn't exactly stand out in either category.

Fit with Wizards: Robinson would give the Wizards depth at the shooting guard position and they need that. He could help Bradley Beal pare down his minutes and offer a scoring punch off the Wizards' bench. The Wizards could use a reliable shooter to help space the floor for Kelly Oubre, Jr. and others in the second unit.

The problems with Robinson's fit would be his lack of positional versatility and what appears to be a relatively low ceiling. He's not the freak athlete that some of his counterparts are at shooting guard. If the Wizards are choosing between Robinson and guys like Zhaire Smith and Lonnie Walker IV, they could view the latter two as more enticing because of their potential. Robinson would represent a safer pick while others could pay off big-time and have a greater impact on the franchise in the long-term.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by Nick Ashooh and Stefon Marquis to talk NBA Draft. 

They broke down five prospects and their potential fit with the Wizards: Moe Wagner of Michigan, Michael Porter, Jr. of Missouri, Grayson Allen of Duke, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Omari Spellman of Villanova.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!