The Miami Heat are not expected to be major players leading up to the February 10 trade deadline. Because any addition would cause the franchise to go over the ominous luxury tax, figuring out any trade scenarios feels almost immaterial.
However, if there was one executive in the NBA that could manage to pull off a surprise move, it would be Heat president Pat Riley. And following the cryptic tweets sent out by Heat forward Markieff Morris and his twin brother, Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr., on February 3, there just maybe something brewing.
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On Wednesday night, Marcus sent out a tweet that was just two sets of the eyes emojis. Afterward, Markieff retweeted his brother’s tweet with two sunglasses face and two shocked face emojis.
While these mysterious messages could be tossed aside as just an inside joke between brothers, rumored reports of the Heat trading for Marcus have been floating around for weeks.
Bleacher Report‘s Andy Bailey proposed that the Heat trade sharpshooter Duncan Robinson and a 2025 first-round pick to the Clippers in order to obtain the former No. 14 overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft. Bailed wrote:
In theory, Marcus’ brother Markieff Morris is such a player (big-bodied forward), but he’s been out for most of the season with a neck injury. P.J. Tucker will be 37 in May. And Jimmy Butler is already shouldering a heavy responsibility on offense. Another player in the Morris-Tucker mold would help, especially if Morris can continue to shoot the way he has the last three seasons (42.5 percent from three since the start of 2019-20).
Markieff Morris Hasn’t Played Since November 8
While Marcus missed a few games recently due to personal reasons, the 6-foot-8, 218-pound Clippers veteran was taken off the injury list last week. Thus far this season, he’s averaging 15.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists.
As for his brother, the Heat forward hasn’t suited up since he received a blindside blow to the back from Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic on November 8, 2021.
Following the incident at the Ball Arena in November, the NBA announced that Jokic, 26, would be suspended one game without pay, an estimated $210,417 in lost wages, and Morris would be fined $50,000. Jimmy Butler was also hit with a penalty, handed a $30,000 fine for what the NBA deemed, “attempting to escalate the altercation and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview as part of the review process pertaining to an on-court matter.”
While Markieff has been spotted working out with the team and participating in practices, he continues to be ruled out for games, officially listed as “return to competition conditioning.”
Per Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Windmerman, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Markieff on Thursday: “That status has not changed with him. He’s continuing to work, as he’s been doing for the last few weeks.”
Trading Robinson Away Amid Seems Highly Unlikely
While Robinson’s five-year, $90 million extension is an easily tradeable contract, “Moving Robinson shortly after his breakout might seem rash,” Bailey wrote. But “the emergence of Max Strus has opened that possibility.
“The Heat probably wouldn’t mind another big-bodied forward to throw at Eastern Conference stars like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo,” Bailed added.
While Miami is in the midst of a three-game losing streak — they haven’t lost three consecutive games since November, once the team is back to full-strength, they should have the weapons in place to put the league on notice. And while Robinson had a rocky season thus far, Spoelstra appears confident that his three-point specialist will get his consistency back soon.
The Heat (32-20) are in second place in the Eastern Conference. Next up, they take on the San Antonio Spurs on February 3.