Last week, concern was mounting that something was going on with Los Angeles Lakers forward Markieff Morris. There was no evidence he was at the NBA bubble in Orlando and the team was staying mum on where he might be. As more information came out, it became known that he had an “excused absence” but was planning on joining the team.
Well, according to Kyle Goon of the OC Register, Morris has cleared quarantine and will likely be joining the team soon.
The Lakers say Markieff Morris has cleared quarantine and should join the Lakers in the NBA bubble.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) July 23, 2020
It’s still unknown where exactly Morris has been but considering his brother Marcus has also been MIA, it could be assumed it was a family matter. Regardless, the Lakers will be happy to have him as he became a key contributor in the several games he played with the team before the suspension in play.
Lakers Play 1st Scrimmage Game on Thursday
It sounds like Morris should be at practice very soon with the team, but it’s highly unlikely he’ll be playing the first scrimmage game on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to practice with the team since he hasn’t been in Orlando.
It also doesn’t help that he wasn’t with the team for very long before the NBA season was suspended. The Lakers also play a scrimmage game on Saturday but it remains to be seen if they’ll have him suit up for that game. Morris should be a key player for a playoff run and has plenty of time to get into the swing of things. Thanks to their firm grasp on the number one seed in the Western Conference, the eight regular-season games before the playoffs should be glorified scrimmages for the Lakers.
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Frank Vogel Has Plan for Morris
In a perfect world, Morris would’ve traveled with the team when they initially went to the bubble, but nothing about this process is perfect. They’ll just be happy he’s back and head coach Frank Vogel has a plan for the forward.
“Once he arrives, I believe the protocol is he’s got to clear two negative tests and quarantine for 36 to 48 hours,” Vogel said. “So it will be a couple days after he arrives before we’re able to see him and get him out on the court.
“Obviously, we’re going to be smart about building him up at the right pace. We don’t want to put him in a position to be injured. He has been out and not competing with the team for a while, sow we’ll just take it day by day and be intelligent with it.”
The Lakers will already be without Rajon Rondo for several weeks and won’t have Avery Bradley at all so losing Morris would’ve been a major problem. Fortunately, it sounds like he’s back and will find his role with the team soon. All things considered, the Lakers roster is shaping up okay. The losses of Rondo and Bradley hurt, but they still have most of their important players.