The Los Angeles Lakers waived DeMarcus Cousins officially, as the team had to clear a roster spot to sign Markieff Morris. Morris was bought out by the Detroit Pistons, ultimately clearing waivers to be able to sign with who he wants. He signed with the Lakers, only a little more than three weeks after his brother Marcus Morris was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers (the Lakers were also trying to trade for Marcus Morris).
Markieff Morris was able to have his first practice with the team today, with his first availability to the media happening afterward. He had some thoughts about how he might affect the Lakers’ rotations and lineups, with Frank Vogel preaching the same point in his media availability. That point was having the ability to play Kyle Kuzma more at the three position, where he could be matched up against other wings as opposed to him playing at the four against bigger power forwards (h/t Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet and Bill Oram of The Athletic).
Frank Vogel then added what Morris brings: “Flexibility. He adds to our depth. He rounds us out a little bit more … it helps the whole group. Kuz will probably (play more) at the wing.” Morris will be active tonight, but Vogel isn’t sure if he’ll play. https://t.co/Nc0KToEYMM
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 25, 2020
🎥Markieff Morris talks about joining the Lakers and the role he hopes to play pic.twitter.com/UXvbJ63k4f
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 25, 2020
The theorized lineups that would allow Kyle Kuzma to be at the three would obviously include the stronger Morris at the four. After that, you’d theoretically have Anthony Davis or Dwight Howard at the five, with some combination of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Alex Caruso, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the two and one.
Kyle Kuzma has always struggled with defending larger players as well as smaller, quicker players. He plays decently against opposing wings though, as Frank Vogel and Markieff Morris both apparently realize. Honestly, you have to wonder how much Morris will make his presence felt in any game considering his position as a three or four. The Lakers already have plenty of forwards, including two of the most talented in the NBA in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He could, however, present an interesting lineup wrinkle that the Lakers haven’t really been able to have all year, with Kuzma and him at the three and four, respectively.
Frank Vogel said he's going to try and get Markieff Morris in the game tonight, but it will depend on how things are going. He said Morris understands that and is ready for whatever.
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 26, 2020
Markieff Morris will be active tonight, so we’ll see if he’s able to get in the game on short notice.