After a solid start to the offseason with a new head coaching hire, the Wizards are in the news for the wrong reason.
According to John Gonzalez of CSN Philadelphia Markieff Morris was detained by local authorities on Thursday afternoon after Philadelphia International Airport security recovered a "suspicious item" in a bag Morris had checked for an international trip.
Oh boy. Let's take a step back and unpack everything we have before jumping to conclusions.
According to Gonzalez's report, the recovered item was described as "suspicious" and the matter is still under investigation by the Tinicum Township Police in Delaware County. This could be for a number of reasons, none of which we are completely sure of at this point.
Police could be trying to figure out exactly what the substance is, exactly how much he has and what his reasons were for having it in the checked bag in the first place. There are a number of things authorities could still be looking at. At this point, it's all speculation.
If what authorities have is, in fact, marijuana, Morris' punishment will depend on exactly how much it is and whether he had intent to distribute it. In 2014, Philadelphia passed a marijuana decriminalization law that reduced punishment for having an ounce of marijuana to just a $25 fine. Those who are caught using the drug are issued a $100 fine. Those with more an ounce are arrested and it is still illegal to check marijuana through bags at this point.
And, technically, the airport is in Delaware County which is not Philadelphia. Laws could be different in that jurisdiction.
No matter where you stand on marijuana policies on the federal and state levels, the law is the law and it's still better to be safe than sorry. Say what you want about Morris, but this is not what you'd like to see from someone Ernie Grunfeld proclaimed as this year's draft pick after trading a first round pick in this year's draft to acquire him.
It's unlikely that this turns into a huge situation for Morris, but it's not great that he's involved in another legal issue considering he still has assault charges pending from an incident last May. Not to mention he choked out a teammate and threw a towel at his coach before becoming a Wizard.
The Wizards knew about these issues before they made the trade and knew it was something they may have to live with. But the hope was that they'd reap the benefits of the trade on a late season playoff run and into the future.
Morris produced well on the floor as a Wizard and even seemed like a good teammate, but the specter of his off-court troubles catching up to him is still a possibility and this incident just adds to that.
We'll see where this one goes, but either way, this is not the news that you want to hear as a Wizards fan heading into a critical offseason.