2017 POP Season Review: Marcus Morris
Marcus Morris was a key piece during Detroit’s playoff run last year, bringing a Sheed-like toughness and silky smooth mid-range game to this revamped Pistons team. This season, Morris played virtually the same role, but at times throughout the season was an extremely streaky shooter, hindering his and the team’s success.
While Morris kept the same scoring average as he did the previous season, his assist and rebounding numbers took a noticeable dip, as sometimes instead he’d vouch for an ill-advised mid-range jumper when the offense became stagnant instead of passing it off to a teammate who might have had a better look. Due to the abundance of contested bricks thrown up because of the overall lack of ball movement combined with an overall hot and cold season, Morris’ shooting numbers dropped slightly. With the Pistons ranking near the bottom in assists, Morris was forced to rely more on his isolation game, where he is at times extremely inefficient, instead of the spot up shooter role, where he excelled at late in the 2015-’16 season.
While Morris didn’t have anywhere near a breakout season and overall had an up-and-down campaign, Morris did show a couple flashes of dominance, including a 28-point performance in December:
Morris was signed to a 4 year/$20 million deal by his previous team, the Phoenix Sun, before being dealt to Detroit. With the production Morris has given the Pistons, this contract is an absolute steal for Detroit, as he signed this deal so he and his twin brother, Markieff Morris (now with the Washington Wizards) could stay in Phoenix together. Morris has 2 years/$10 million left on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-’19 season. While it is possible the Pistons deal his team friendly contract within the next couple years, it is likely that Morris rides his contract out and gets a huge payday from another team, barring a trade package that would benefit the team’s future. With the Pistons young core (hopefully) intact when his contract is up, it’s unlikely the Pistons would try to re-sign Morris, who will be nearing his age-30 season while the rest of the core will be in their mid-twenties.
If the team comes out of the gates slow at the start next season, it is reasonable to think Morris will be shipped off, among others, to start a new rebuild in Detroit. For now, however, Morris will continue to be a solid all-around player and veteran presence for this young Pistons squad, and will hopefully contribute to not only mending the recent chemistry problems the team faced this season, but also being a key piece in getting playoff basketball back in Detroit after breaking one of the longest playoff droughts in team history just over a year ago.
Featured Image – (Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports)