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Despite big game, Suns still plan on trading Markieff Morris

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris dunks over Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas, of Lithuania, (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Despite Markieff Morris’ 30-point, 11-rebound and 6-assist performance Tuesday night in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Phoenix Suns are continuing to explore trade options for the disgruntled forward and he is still expected to be dealt by the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

Morris, who should be knocked for playing hard for the first time this season following the firing of head coach Jeff Hornacek, just proved exactly why the Suns should continue to look at trading him. Morris has always been capable of having a game like that on occasion. There is some talent there. But he is not capable of doing that night in and night out. When things didn’t go his way after requesting a trade following the trade of his brother Marcus to Detroit, Markieff showed who he really was. He whined and pouted because he didn’t get his way and he didn’t give the Suns a full effort until Monday night.

Morris’ trade value is not very good right now and one good game will not change that. If he can string together a few good, consistent games, maybe things can change. But as of now it will still be hard to get value for him in any deal. As for Morris’ mindset, he is being showed love by new coach Earl Watson, who is trying to reincarnate him compared to Hornacek, who coached him under the assumption he was going to be traded. It wasn’t in the Suns’ best interest to play Morris major minutes when he wasn’t a part of the future. Watson will play him out of desperation to help him win games — or at least be competitive — and look good so he can have a legitimate shot at the job. Getting the most out of Morris will prove Watson’s worth as a coach.

Morris should have been shown the door a long time ago. But he is still here and just now decided to earn some of the $8 million he is making. But it remains in the Suns’ best interest to move him and that continues to be what the plan is.

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