Suns exercise option of Morris

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns have exercised the team's 2013-14 option on the contract of forward Markieff Morris, the club announced today.

Originally the 13th overall pick (first round) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Suns, last season Morris had the best statistical campaign by a Sun since Amar'e Stoudemire in 2002-03.  The 6-10, 245-pound Morris became just the seventh Sun in franchise history selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.  He averaged 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.67 blocks and 0.65 steals in 19.5 minutes in 63 games (seven starts) last season, one of just six NBA rookies to average at least seven points and four boards a season ago.

Despite a shortened 66-game slate last season, Morris scored in double figures 22 times, the most by a Suns rookie since Leandro Barbosa in 2003-04.  The University of Kansas product followed up his successful rookie season by making his Las Vegas Summer League debut and averaging a team-leading 19.8 points, team-best 9.8 rebounds and team-high 2.0 blocks in five games (five starts) for the Suns' entry.

Through six preseason games in 2012, Morris is averaging a team-leading 11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and team-high tying 1.17 steals in 22.2 minutes. "Kieff" has also attempted a team-best 20 free throws.