Welcome back to our player review series. Amid us deep-diving into the draft and everything regarding the future of the organization, we’re discussing the seasons for Miami Heat players that played in the 2021-22 NBA season who finished on the active roster — regardless of their impending status entering 2022-23.
This will be our ninth player thus far — we’ve reviewed Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Udonis Haslem, Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin. Today, we will be reviewing Markieff Morris, who was limited to just 17 games because of a neck injury caused by the now-back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic in Nov.
Let’s jump into it!
Brief Overview (17 games):
- 7.6 points
- 2.6 rebounds
- 1.4 assists
- 47.4 field goal percentage
- 54.7 true-shooting percentage
- 10.9 player efficiency rating
Morris signed with Miami in the offseason on a minimum contract as a de facto backup 4 behind P.J. Tucker. Morris’ impact was more visible in his first 10 games with the Heat, posting 7.7 points and 2.8 rebounds on 45.7 percent shooting (36.4 3P%) in 18.7 minutes per game. Though a neck injury stemming from getting shoved in the back by Nikola Jokic subsequently derailed his season, subsequently missing four months (58 games) and had an inconsistent role in the rotation when he returned.
Oct. 25 vs. Orlando Magic
In his third game with the Heat, Morris led all bench scorers — and was tied for second on the team in scoring — with 16 points, shooting 7-of-11 from the floor with one 3-pointer (on four attempts), in addition to three rebounds, an assist, block and steal.
Numbers to note:
21.7, 1.0 - Morris was one of Miami’s most frequent mid-post producers, logging the team’s highest post-up frequency (21.7 percent) and tied for second in points-per-post-up possession (1.0), trailing only P.J. Tucker (1.1), per Synergy. Morris also tied Tucker for the team’s highest field goal percentage (58.3) in such situations and ranked in the 68.1 percentile in post-ups overall.
47.4 - As I mentioned above, Morris shot 47.4 percent from the floor, which is the third-best mark of his career — albeit a minimized sample. He posted the fourth-highest field goals (19.1) and fourth-most 3-pointers per 100 possessions (6.5) of his career. He also posted a career-best 54.7 2-point percentage.
Morris enters unrestricted free agency this summer. It’s unclear whether Morris re-signs or not. Should he return to the 305, the expectation would be that he would signs via the minimum ($1.7M) or his non-bird rights ($3.3M) without eating into its non-taxpayer MLE ($10.3M) or bi-annual exception ($4.1M). If Tucker were to hypothetically return, Miami still wouldn’t have a true backup power forward (unless they draft one tonight or trade for one before July 1). It found success with Jimmy Butler at the 4 plus three others guards (that could shoot) around him in the playoffs, but I don’t expect Miami to utilize that formula consistently in the regular season. Morris would be an inexpensive contract to re-sign if Miami chose to, though I don’t expect him to be a primary candidate to return before ‘22-23.