Should Cavaliers Trade Tristan Thompson For Markieff Morris?


There is ongoing debate about the future of Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris, and the Cleveland Cavaliers might want to give a trade for him some thought. 

There is turmoil in Phoenix as the Suns find themselves in a position where they will probably need to get rid of forward Markieff Morris before the season starts so he doesn’t come in and mess things up as a disgruntled employee. He has called out the fans, he’s become an enemy of the front office and has gone full Kevin Love on the Suns the way the current Cavs star did to the Timberwolves last summer.

Basically, there is no future in Phoenix for Morris and something is going to happen one way or the other to rectify the situation. Like we saw with Josh Smith last year in Detroit, the Suns might have to just straight up cut Morris in order to get rid of him. But unlike Smith, Morris has an attractive contract situation that a team might want to bite on since he’s club controlled for the next four seasons.

That team could be the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While no trade winds are blowing at the moment, the Cavaliers could be a destination for Morris and use him to fix a situation they’re dealing with — not quite similarly — themselves. Yes, a Markieff Morris trade could be the solution to the Tristan Thompson contract dispute.

So how would a trade work out? Here’s a brief breakdown:

This would only work if the Cavaliers and Suns agreed to a sign-and-trade situation where Thompson is given the contract that he wants and is then shipped to Phoenix with the Brendan Haywood trade exception. As it stands now, Thompson can’t be traded as he has no outgoing value and the CBA wouldn’t allow him to be traded without a contract. The Cavaliers aren’t in a position to trade the rights to Tristan to the Suns, but if they can agree to a deal then that could facilitate a trade and vice versa.

Cleveland does not want to give Thompson a $80 million max contract, but if the Suns were willing to give that to him, then acquiring Morris to replace him on the roster at more than half the price is a fantastic steal of a deal. Morris signed a four-year contract last fall and is under club control for the next four seasons at $32 million in total.

Phoenix isn’t in a position to capitalize on that deal, but if they want a starting forward in exchange for Morris — which is what they probably do want — then maxing out Tristan Thompson and making him a major piece of the core seems like a win-win. The only thing that ties this trade up is the semantics and technical mumbo jumbo in the CBA that would nullify this.

But of there’s a way to make it happen — and it seems like there could be — then there’s no reason a Thompson for Morris trade shouldn’t happen. Cleveland saves on what they’d have to pay Thompson and the Suns get rid of a headache and acquire a possible All-Star in exchange.

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