When Markieff Morris told the press that he wants to be with the Suns during the team’s media day Monday, there was some speculation about how true that statement was.
It was less than a month ago when Morris infamously tweeted that his future would not be in Phoenix.
But former Suns player Dan Majerle has a perspective on Morris that few others have.
Morris trained at Grand Canyon University this summer, where Majerle is the men’s basketball coach.
Majerle shed some light on the situation on the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday.
“Markieff was probably hurt a little bit but he’s grown up a lot,” Majerle said. “He realizes that he loves his teammates, he wants to play basketball and I think he’s going to play the hand that he’s dealt. I’m not sure that he thought he’d still be here, but now that he is I think he wants to do the best he can for the Suns and for his teammates.”
While others question whether Morris does sincerely want to be in Phoenix, Majerle said he believes the statement.
“I think Markieff wants to be here. I think he sees the opportunity and he’s a big part of what they’re going to do. I think he’s a very talented guy who can help this team win a lot of games,” Majerle said.
“He is a loyal guy and he does love his teammates and he wants to be a good basketball player and I’ve always been impressed with his ability. He looked good this summer.”
That’s not to say that Majerle doesn’t see room for improvement in Morris’s game.
“Consistently, he’s got to be more of a beast in the rebounding activities,” Majerle said. “Offensively, I think he’s very talented. When I sat there and watched him workout, for a guy his size, the way he can step out and shoot threes, the mid-range jumper, everything he does that way is a good thing. I think he’s just got to be more consistent and take it upon himself to be one of the best players on the Suns and to bring it every night.”
Last season, Morris ranked tenth in scoring among qualified power forwards, averaging 15.3 points per game. While he ranked second in steals among power forwards with 101, he led the group in personal fouls with 245.
“He’s just got to grow up a little bit and he’s got to realize that he’s got to tap into his potential and do it every night. That’s what great players do. And he’s got to realize that he can be a great player. With that, he’s got to do it effort wise and he’s got to show up every night and take it upon himself to be that guy that’s going to be one of the guys that they can count on night in and night out.”