Forward Morris ready to help Thunder

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Forward Markieff Morris said on Friday that he loves the culture of the Oklahoma City Thunder and is ready to make his contributions to the team.

The Thunder signed the free agent earlier this week and hope Morris can bolster the team's already-powerful front court.

"You can just see the passion they play with, the smiles, how happy they are for each other when the other one is going good," Morris was quoted as saying by the team's offcial website. "That's one of the best things you look for when you're trying to pick a team, the family atmosphere and how guys feel about each other."

"The atmosphere is unbelievable. Every time I came to play here I always said this is one of the toughest places to play. It's right up the street from Kansas, so I've been here plenty of times and I've played here over 20 times when I was in college, so I'm used to it," added Morris, who played for Kansas University before turning pro.

"Whatever makes the team better. I can show up, I can blitz a pick-and-roll, I can switch, whatever's comfortable for the team," Morris said.

Over his eight seasons in the NBA, Morris has been an extremely consistent power forward with an ability to do a lot of things well on the floor.

Morris has career averages of 11.8 points and 5.6 rebounds with the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards. This season with the Wizards, he appeared in 34 games and averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Morris was released by the New Orleans Pelicans following a trade from the Wizards earlier this month.

"We welcomed him with open arms," said Thunder star Paul George. "We had fun, walked him through plays and stuff. He's a baller, he knows how to play. We just want to make him feel comfortable right away and just welcome him."

Head Coach Billy Donovan said: "Morris is a guy that prides himself on really being able to do a lot of different things: defending, rebounding, passing, posting up, shooting. He wants to do whatever he can to help improve our team and to try to help contribute to our team."

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