Lakers officially add Markieff Morris after Pistons buyout

Jack Baer

Reinforcements have finally come for the Los Angeles Lakers. Not that the team desperately needed them.

After whiffing on adding any significant players at the trade deadline, not being able to get Darren Collison to unretire and missing out on a post-buyout Reggie Jackson, the Lakers officially added power forward Markieff Morris on Sunday.

The move came less than an hour after one of the team’s most thrilling wins this season.

Morris was made available after clearing waivers and a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons, for whom he averaged 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game this season while shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range.

The Lakers reportedly signed Morris through a $1.75 million disabled player exception and opened a roster spot by waiving DeMarcus Cousins, a procedural move after the big man’s preseason ACL tear.

Morris has reportedly been sold on the Lakers’ backup power forward role, subbing in for Anthony Davis and providing a significant perimeter shooting threat for LeBron James. His addition will also likely mean Kyle Kuzma plays more minutes as a small forward, which could align the team’s frontcourt nicely.

Markieff Morris will now be playing in the same arena as his twin, the Clippers' Marcus Morris. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

At 43-12, the Lakers have looked like one of the best teams in basketball through 55 games, but the team’s previous failure to add a rotation player created worries about how it would hold together in the playoffs. Adding Morris should help abate that concern.

Morris’ addition also creates a fun storyline in Los Angeles, where the Clippers currently employ his twin brother Marcus after a deadline trade. The brothers are now scheduled to face off on March 8 at the next Lakers-Clippers game.

That probably won’t be the only time both of them are at Staples Center.

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