UPDATE: Markieff Morris cleared waivers on Sunday afternoon and the Los Angeles Lakers officially announced they had signed the nine-year veteran early Sunday evening. They waived center, DeMarcus Cousins, to clear a roster spot for Morris. Cousins was on the court before the team's game against the Boston Celtics and is expected to remain with the team while he rehabilitates his torn ACL despite no longer being on the roster.
Let the sibling rivalry begin.
One of the best storylines of the 2019-20 NBA season is the ongoing rivalry in the City of Angels between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.
Both teams loaded up with star power this offseason as Anthony Davis joined forces with LeBron James in the purple and gold, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teamed up for the Clippers.
Each team began the season as the co-favorites to win the NBA title, and currently have the first and second best odds of hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy, respectively.
Adding to the intrigue, was the February 6th NBA trade deadline. Both teams were coveting Marcus Morris of the New York Knicks via trade. The Lakers arguably needed him more, but it was the Clippers who landed the hard-nosed forward.
A week later, free agent point guard Darren Collison, another player both teams were interested in signing, announced he would stay retired, handing the Lakers another loss, but also not adding to an already loaded Clippers team.
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On Friday, another chapter in the Battle of LA between the two top teams in the Western Conference was written. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers are expected to sign Marcus' identical twin brother, Markieff Morris after his buyout with the Detroit Pistons is finalized.
Morris reportedly agreed to a buyout with the Pistons on Friday morning, leaving over $4.3 million in remaining salary on the table for an opportunity to play for a contender in Los Angeles.
Morris, 31, is averaging 11 points, and 3.9 rebounds in 44 games with Detroit this season. The forward is a great perimeter defender—something the Lakers desperately need—and can also help them on the glass.
Once the deal becomes official, the identical twin brothers, who are also best friends, will immediately become rivals. However, Marcus, is more excited than anyone for his twin brother to come join him in Tinseltown.
"That's my brother man," Marcus said after Clippers practice in Playa Del Rey on Friday. "Man, if he goes to L.A., then I'm gonna be in Staples Center all the time. I think maybe to y'all it might be weird that I'm going to all his games, but that's what'll probably happen. And we'll probably get a hose together too.
"If one of us wins, we both win. That's how we look at it. Obviously, I'm a Clipper, I'd love to win, we're definitely gonna be competitors, but we're both gonna work hard. It'll probably be the first time where two players from two different teams are actually living and working out together. That's gonna be cool."
In order to make room for Morris on the roster, the Lakers are expected to waive center DeMarcus Cousins, who has not played this season because of a torn ACL.
Cousins himself has said he would like to return this season, but the prospect of that is still considered a long shot at this point. The resurgence of Dwight Howard off the bench has also made Cousins somewhat expendable on a Lakers team that is seeking help at the forward and point guard positions.
Cousins could be waived as early as Sunday night, once Morris is expected to clear waivers.