Nets Were ‘Desperate’ to Make Offseason Move: Report

Joe Tsai

Getty Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai (C) watches the game during the first half of the Eastern Conference 2022 Play-In Tournament between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center

Once the Brooklyn Nets got word that Kevin Durant would rescind his trade request and return to Brooklyn for another season, the team set its sights on adding a veteran piece to its roster. After a season and offseason of drama for the Nets, the team made it a priority to sign a veteran that could command the respect of Durant and Kyrie Irving. They found that veteran with their recent signing of the twelfth-year forward Markieff Morris. 

On September 18, NBA Insider Marc Stein in his Substack column, revealed more about the Morris signing with a surprising revelation about who it was that chose Morris and why he was the one brought to Brooklyn. 

Joe Tsai Driving Force Behind Markieff Morris Signing

Stein, in one of the nuggets revealed in his column involved the Nets and some of the behind the scenes information that went into the decision to sign the veteran forward. 

“… it should be noted that the Nets considered the Morris signing as sufficiently significant that I’m told Nets owner Joe Tsai made a personal recruiting pitch to the 33-year-old. The Nets were desperate to add a veteran who could command the respect of stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and believe Morris has the gravitas to speak up when necessary like he did in Los Angeles alongside James and Davis,” Stein wrote. 

Joe Tsai being behind the signing of Markieff Morris is already interesting enough news, however, the latest revelation from Stein was coupled with the fact that Morris was identified because he is a player that he believed could command the respect of Durant and Irving while being able to stand up to the superstars is fascinating. Durant’s trade request occurred after he lost faith in the front office and decision-making of the team during the Kyrie Irving negotiations. Adding a player with the idea of him being the guy to stand up to Irving or Durant may not be the best discovery for a player already struggling to trust the organization. 

Details of the Morris Signing

In addition to the details about the reason the Nets pursued and signed Morris, Stein revealed more details about his contract with the Nets. 

“Markieff Morris’ one-year, $2.9 million contract with the Nets is indeed a non-guaranteed deal. According to my trusted cap consultant @KeithSmithNBA, Morris locks in $500,000 of that amount if he makes the Nets’ Opening Night roster, with that figure rising to $1 million guaranteed if he’s still a Net on Dec. 10 and a full guarantee if Morris remains on the roster beyond Jan. 10,” Stein wrote

Stein made sure to note that while the contract is not fully guaranteed, he was sought out by Tsai and there is a bigger reason to him joining the Nets. 

Morris also bring added depth to an already deep roster. He joins the newly acquired forwards of TJ Warren and Royce O’Neale and a bench squad consisting of Patty Mills and potentially Joe Harris or Seth Curry and Nic Claxton if Ben Simmons does get the starting nod at center. 

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