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Markieff Morris gave back entire 2020-21 salary in buyout with Pistons

Lakers, Markieff Morris, Pistons

Veteran small forward Markieff Morris got a buyout from the Detroit Pistons and proceeded to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Morris signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Pistons in free agency this past summer. Apparently though, to complete the buyout, he gave back his entire 2020-21 salary, per Yossi Gozlan of Hoops Hype.

Markieff Morris sacrificed the most guaranteed salary in a buyout than any other player this season. Morris gave back a total of $4,540,113 to the Pistons. $940,113 came out of his 2019-20 salary and the remaining $3.6 million came from declining his 2020-21 player option. His prorated minimum salary right after clearing waivers would’ve been $694,702, but he signed with the Lakers for $1.75 million for the rest of the season.

While it appears he lost $2.8 million in the process, the combination of the $1.75 million for 2019-20 and signing for at least the veteran minimum in 2020-21 (currently projected at $2.45 million for Morris) will recoup enough money to almost break even. Like Jackson, having a shot to prove he can contribute for a contender is more valuable to Morris’ free agency stock than finishing the season with Detroit.

Morris appeared in 44 games for the Pistons this season. He averaged 11.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from beyond the arc and 77.2 percent from the free-throw line.

The Pistons are headed for the lottery, while the Lakers are championship contenders. Markieff Morris lost money in his buyout, that much we know. However, he’s going to be playing basketball when it means the most.