NBA Power Rankings Week 19: LA Clippers get aggressive on buyout market

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NBA Power Rankings Markieff Morris Marcus Morris

NBA Power Rankings Markieff Morris Marcus Morris (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

While the LA Clippers are floundering a bit in the NBA Power Rankings, they made some moves both at the deadline and in the buyout market. They’re not alone

It appears Markieff Morris and twin brother Marcus Morris could be playing in the same city for the first time in nearly five years, before the Phoenix Suns traded Mook to the Detroit Pistons in July 2015 before sending an unhappy Keef to the Washington Wizards the following February. The twins may have an impact on the NBA Power Rankings down the stretch this season.

The only problem is they are still likely to be playing for different teams. The LA Clippers made the first of two additions thus far when they acquired Marcus from the New York Knicks in a three-team trade on deadline day back on Feb. 6.

The Clippers then added Reggie Jackson on Thursday once he had cleared waivers after he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons on Friday bought out Markieff and the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly prepared to sign him if he clears waivers on Sunday, according to ESPN. The Lakers would waive injured big man DeMarcus Cousins to free up the roster spot for Keef.

Since the trade deadline passed, the Milwaukee Bucks have signed Marvin Williams after he was bought out by the Charlotte Hornets, the Dallas Mavericks waived injured Ryan Broekhoff to bring in Charlotte’s other bought-out veteran, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Houston Rockets brought in Jeff Green, who had been let go by the Utah Jazz in January.

Besides the Clippers adding Jackson once he cleared waivers, the Rockets made another move when they signed DeMarre Carroll. Carroll had been bought out by the San Antonio Spurs.

The Bucks have a seven-game lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference, but the Raptors and Boston Celtics are in a tight race for the No. 2 spot. The Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, meanwhile, are within three games of each other in the fourth, fifth and sixth positions.

In the West, the Lakers are five games clear of the rest of the conference, but the Denver Nuggets, Clippers, Rockets and Jazz are all within two games of each other between second and fifth place. Dallas is seventh, a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.

To be eligible to be included on the playoff roster for a new team, players must be waived no later than March 1. While players can still agree to buyouts and be waived after that date, they could not play for a new team come the postseason.

Still available after being bought out are Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson and Isaiah Thomas and there are still rumors Evan Turner (Minnesota Timberwolves), Maurice Harkless (New York Knicks) and Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Hornets) could be let go in time to find new playoff homes.

What effect all of those moves and potential moves could have on the NBA Power Rankings is unclear, but for the Morris twins, it could produce some travel perks, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. At least that’s what Marcus Morris seems to think should Markieff also end up in L.A.

“Probably gonna ride to the game together. That don’t bother us, to have to go out there and compete — we’re pros and both of us gonna go hard and both are gonna do the best we can do for our team. … For us to be together, it’s just icing on the cake.”

Even if it means seeing double when the Lakers and Clippers meet, which they will do at least twice more this season — March 8 with the Clippers as the home team and a Lakers home game that has been rescheduled for April 9 (more on that later).

And now, let’s dive into the countdown.

30

Golden State Warriors 12-44

Last rank: 30th

Last week: Lost to Houston 135-105

This week: Sunday vs. New Orleans, Tuesday vs. Sacramento, Thursday vs. Lakers, Saturday at Phoenix

The Golden State Warriors opened their second half the saw way their last four games before the All-Star break ended, with a loss. The Warriors returned Thursday and were hammered at home by the Rockets.

Golden State has lost five in a row and 20 of their last 23 dating back to Dec. 28 and have fallen significantly off the pace of the Cavaliers for the worst record in the NBA. Currently, the Warriors, Cavaliers and Hawks would take the top three spots in the NBA Draft Lottery, each with a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall selection.

Against the Rockets, Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting in 29 minutes, hitting 2-of-4 from 3-point range and finishing with three rebounds and two blocks. He has averaged 22.8 points, 3.0 assists, 2.8 boards, 2.0 steals and 1.8 blocks in 32.0 minutes per game over his first four games since coming over from Minnesota.

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