Former Kansas basketball star Markieff Morris' trade led to Mavericks finals run

Dallas Mavericks v Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off June 6. It will feature a pair of former Kansas Jayhawks, Svi Mykhailiuk for the Boston Celtics and Markieff Morris for the Dallas Mavericks. This will be the third straight year a Jayhawk wins an NBA Title.

February 6, 2023, was a turning point for the Dallas Mavericks. They were looking to upgrade the roster and give Luka Doncic more firepower to help lead the Mavs. And they did just that when they traded for Markieff Morris kind of. The Mavs traded away key pieces in Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney Smith, a 2027 second-round pick, a 2029 first-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick. In return, they got their man in Markieff Morris! Kyrie Irving was also included in the trade.

The Mavs coming off a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2022 fell on hard times in 2023 and missed the playoffs. The revamped Mavs squad has made a run in 2024, going back to the Finals for the first time since 2011 when Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs over the newly formed Big 3 Miami Heat of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Luka Doncic looks to do the same thing against the Boston Celtics.

All of this momentum started with the Markieff Morris trade. The Western Conference Finals saw the Mavs dominate the Wolves, winning the series 4-1. Kyrie averaged a combined 27 points per game in the series to help Luka get to his first NBA Finals. Markieff is a big locker room guy and a vocal leader for the Mavs. Morris was a free agent last year, and the Mavs decided to bring him back on a one-year deal. In Game 3, Dereck Lively II took a knee to the back of the neck. It was Markieff who helped Lively back to the locker room supporting him the whole walk back as he was wobbly.

Markieff Morris is here to snap that 13-year waiting period for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are playing free and loose. Luka and Kyrie are cooking. D-Live and Gafford are controlling the paint. PJ and DJJ are locking them up on the perimeter. This is the year the Mavs take the ship. And it all started with the Markieff Morris trade.

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