The discussion over whether the Wizards made the right move in dealing a first round pick for Markieff Morris continues, as does some debate over how good is the 26-year-old power forward. With that in mind, I looked back on stats from the 2015-16 season to gauge impact provided by Morris.
Now, as Mark Twain once said, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. These numbers don't tell the entire tale. They don't get into the temperment reasons why Morris wore out his welcome in Phoenix. They don't get into how often he played with a healthy Bradley Beal or Washington's strength of schedule during that stretch.
They also might not fully explain the impact of finally adding a young, athletic presence to a roster otherwise sporting older, under-the-rim types. They certanly don't quantify the financial bargain Morris becomes as the NBA heads into a wild free agency period. These numbers do show part of the story and perhaps what the Wizards can expect and then some now that Morris will be with the team from the start.
Morris was acquired during the All-Star break, but missed Washington's first game after the deal.
Pre All-Star break: 39.8 (30th)
Post All-Star break: 45.2 (6th)
Jared Dudley provided the Wizards with 3-point shooting and smart passing, but his lack of size and hops limited Washington on the boards.
Defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions)
Pre All-Star break: 105.1 (21st)
Post All-Star break: 101.2 (5th)
Nobody is calling Morris a lockdown defender. The 6-foot-10 forward does have the bulk to battle bangers inside and foot speed to track down stretch-4 types on the perimeter. Dudley lacked the size and Kris Humphries, Washington's PF starter when the season tipped off, lacked the speed.
Morris (101.9) third in defensive rating among Wizards who played at least 25 games behind Garrett Temple and Nene.
Second in net rating (2.4) behind Nene among those who played at least 25 games.
Pre All-Star break: 23-28
Post All-Star break: 18-13
Of the top 15 teams based on winning percentage after the All-Star, 14 made the playoffs. The lone exception play home games at Verizon Center.
This note is more about the Wizards than Morris. He didn't play in four of the 31 post-break games and Washington won all four. Two of those three wins came against NBA cellar dwellers (at Lakers, at Nets) with the last one taking place at home over the Hawks in the regular season finale that also didn't include John Wall, Marcin Gortat and Beal.