The Nets are reportedly on the verge of handing out their final standard deal, with rapidly advancing mutual interest between Brooklyn and Markieff Morris.
The two sides have “moved into advanced discussions” according to Marc Stein on Substack. Their mutual interest was first reported by NetsDaily and confirmed by The Post.
After the Kevin Durant melodrama was finally put to bed by the four-time scoring champ rescinding his trade request, it has freed up both the free-agent market leaguewide and Brooklyn to round out its roster.
On Sunday, the Nets signed free agent Yuta Watanabe to a non-guaranteed standard contract, leaving them five open roster spots, only one a standard deal. And with The Post having reported for weeks their intent to add a backup big man, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound Morris would fit the bill if added. The 32-year-old has been a power forward his whole career, but might be tried filling in as a backup smallball five.
Morris – largely a reserve since 2018-19 – would presumably be on a veteran’s minimum, and would take up the last standard deal. He’s averaged 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds over his dozen-year NBA career, including 7.6 points and 2.6 boards in 17.5 minutes with the Heat last season, when he was limited to 17 games due to injury.
Stein described Morris as “a vocal locker room presence” for the Lakers that won the championship in 2019-20, and anybody who has watched the Nets play lately would likely agree that they could benefit from that if the move gets completed.
Morris hasn’t been signed yet, but if he is it would fill Brooklyn’s allotment of standard deals. Restricted free agent David Duke Jr. had rejected the Nets’ offer of a two-way contract in hopes of getting a standard deal, but Watanabe got one and now Morris could be on track to get the last one.
Brooklyn still has a two-way spot open (Alondes Williams got one) as well as all three Exhibit 10s (essentially training camp invitees).
Nets director of player personnel JR Holden will reportedly be taking over the Nets scouting duties and G League Long Island general manger role that were vacated when Matt Riccardi left for the Dallas Mavericks. The news was reported by European outlet Sportando and confirmed by the Post.
Holden came to Brooklyn three years ago after a successful career in Europe and scouting for the Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers.