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Pistons’ Markieff Morris out against Suns amid trade rumors

With less than 24 hours before the NBA trade deadline, Detroit Pistons big man Markieff Morris has been ruled out for Wednesday’s contest against the Phoenix Suns.

While a hip injury will officially keep Morris out for the third consecutive game, he has been subject to trade rumors ahead of Thursday, with the Pistons having slipped in the Eastern Conference standings.

As reported by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer earlier on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have all been interested in acquiring Morris, who has averaged 11 points and 3.9 rebounds across 42 contests (16 starts) for Detroit this season.

Another team that has thrust themselves into the mix is the Houston Rockets, who made a significant splash Tuesday by swapping Clint Capela to the Hawks in a whirlwind four-team trade that netted them Robert Covington. Houston has room to add Morris’ remaining money into their cap, which could be a deal-sealer when it comes down to it.

Should the Pistons ultimately move Morris, his new home would mark his fourth team in the past two years. He was dealt on Feb. 7, 2019 to New Orleans, who promptly released him — paving his way to finish the year with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Markieff Morris inked a two-year deal with the Pistons during the summer that gives him a modest $3.36 million player option that he can choose to invoke next year. Even with Blake Griffin (knee) undergoing surgery that likely sidelines him for the year, Morris has averaged just 22.5 minutes per contest.

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