Detroit Pistons buyout Markieff Morris, expected to join former Pistons in Los Angeles

Detroit Pistons Markieff Morris. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Markieff Morris. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons and Markieff Morris have agreed to buyout terms. If he clears waivers, he intends to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Detroit Pistons’ first game after the All-Star break may have been a signal that another move was on the horizon as Markieff Morris did not play and was not a scratch.

One day later he was bought out and late Friday night the Los Angeles Lakers cleared a roster spot by waiving DeMarcus Cousins so Morris could join them, according to The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania.

Morris, 30, still has to clear waivers and, if claimed, it would void the buyout agreed upon by the Pistons. A team with a trade exception — such as the Houston Rockets — could claim him, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

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But Morris intends to join the Lakers along with former Pistons wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Recent buyout product Reggie Jackson joined the Clippers along with Marcus Morris, who was traded by the Knicks. That could create an engaging playoff experience for Pistons fans, along with fan-favorites Tobias Harris in Philadelphia and Boban Marjanovic in Dallas.

Morris played 44 games, starting 16, and averaged 22.5 minutes per game. He’s had his best shooting year of his career, converting 39.7% of 3-point attempts. He averaged 11 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game for the Pistons.

The Pistons (19-39) continue to free up money for the summer. By buying out Morris, they will have $36 million in salary cap space, including a first round pick and Christian Wood‘s free agent hold, which they’re likely to maintain if they can re-sign him up to $10.1 million with early bird rights.

analysis. Pistons could sign Bone or King to multi-year deal with recent buyouts. light

The move ultimately frees up a roster spot for the Pistons, particularly in the frontcourt. It could mean a contract is coming for Louis King, who is currently on a two-way deal but his 45 days with the Pistons are likely closing in. That’s not public information. It could also lead to G-League All-Star Donta Hall getting a pair of 10-day contracts, or lead to others as the Pistons look to find less-explored talent.

There’s plenty of playing time to be had for younger Pistons. Sekou Doumbouya and Thon Maker drew starts last time out. There are no more veterans in the frontcourt.

The 10-day contract market is something Pistons coach Dwane Casey said the team would explore. They recently signed Detroit native Derrick Walton Jr. to a 10-day contract.

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