Suspicions Growing That Lakers Are Missing Key Veteran in Orlando

Getty Anthony Davis and Markieff Morris of the Los Angeles Lakers help up teammate Danny Green.

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming up on a week inside the NBA bubble in Orlando and there have been no sightings of Markieff Morris, sparking suspicions that he’s not with the team.

Morris signed with the Lakers shortly before the season was put on hold. He played in eight games, averaging 14.8 minutes, 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. Morris started his season in Detroit, where he appeared in 44 games with 16 starts. He averaged 11 points and 3.9 rebounds with the Pistons before being waived.

But the question remains if Morris is currently in the Disney World bubble in Orlando. And if he’s not, will he be when the season officially restarts on July 30. Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll did a comprehensive deep dive into the photos and videos that have been released from the bubble and found that Morris is the only Lakers player that was expected to be in Orlando that’s hasn’t been spotted.

Lakers Not Disclosing Who is Missing From Bubble

Morris’ social media accounts have been relatively quiet other than some retweets and there’s also speculation that his brother, Marcus, is also not with the Clippers.

The Lakers have been clear that they are not going to be outright revealing or speaking on who is in Orlando and who’s not because of privacy concerns.

“[We’re] not going to disclose the number of guys and whether or not we have our full staff at this time,” head coach Frank Vogel told reporters this week. “We’re going to continue to honor the testing protocols and just not disclose that.”

Unlike Rajon Rondo, who cannot be replaced due to injury during a practice inside the bubble, the Lakers could be granted a replacement player if Morris has chosen to stay home for personal reasons or has contracted COVID-19.

Lakers Expecting Markieff Morris to be Key Part of Rotation

GettyMarkieff Morris of the Los Angeles Lakers.

As a veteran signing with a championship contender, Morris was clear that when he signed with the Lakers he would do anything needed to make an impact in his role.

“Me, personally, I’m just trying to be the X-Factor that we need,” Morris said shortly after signing. “Whatever’s needed out of me, I want to come in and provide. That’s just where it’s at. However, they use me is how they use me.”

That, in turn, gave the Lakers some more flexibility with their rotation, especially with the likes of Kyle Kuzma.

“In the modern NBA, you really — in my opinion — you have a point guard, a center and you have wings, and he just adds to our depth at that position,” Vogel said. “All of our wings have slightly different skillsets with defensive matchups, offensive skillsets of what they’re able to do, and he just rounds us out a little bit more and adds that type of depth that could help us down the stretch and in some of these playoff series that we’re hoping to be in.”

Just before arriving in the bubble, Lakers star Anthony Davis spoke on what Morris — along with fellow new free agent signees JR Smith and Dion Waiters — could do to help the team win a title.

“Markieff showed that he can be a big part of our team,” Davis said. “Dion and JR are obviously going to help us tremendously as well, with JR’s ability to shoot, and Dion’s ability to score and play-make. I think it’s going to be beneficial for us going to Orlando, and give us a chance to win.”

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