Marreese Akeem Speights (born August 4, 1987) is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Florida, where he was a freshman member of the Florida Gators' NCAA national championship team in 2007. The Philadelphia 76ers selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
Speights was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. He played basketball at St. Petersburg's Admiral Farragut Academy, which retired his jersey number after one year. He also played basketball at Hargrave Military Academy (senior year) and Gibbs High School.
Speights began his career at Florida in 2006–07, and averaged approximately four points and two rebounds in six minutes per game as a freshman for the national champion Gators. He saw few minutes behind big men Al Horford, Joakim Noah, and Chris Richard.
Speights ended the 2007–08 season averaging 14.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. After his sophomore season, he declared himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft. Speights confirmed with Florida coach Billy Donovan on June 12, 2008 that he would not be returning to the Gators.
Philadelphia 76ers (2008–2012)
Speights was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 16th pick of the first round in the 2008 NBA Draft. He signed with Philadelphia on July 18, 2008. In his rookie season, Speights had a field-goal percentage of .502 from the field, playing 79 games, shooting .773 from the free throw line, and notching two starts.
Marreese's second season with the 76ers started off on a high note as he saw a slight increase in playing time and put up good numbers. He scored 15 or more points in 5 of his first 10 games, and was a vital part of the team's frontcourt. In the 4th quarter of November 14's game versus the Chicago Bulls, Speights injured his left knee. An MRI revealed a partial tear of the Medial collateral ligament (MCL). He missed 14 games and came back December 16, to play 22 minutes in a losing effort against the Cleveland Cavaliers. After he returned from the injury, his playing time became limited, mostly because of the increased production from Elton Brand.
The 76ers hired Doug Collins as their new head coach for the 2010-11 season. Known for his defensive-minded coaching philosophy, this shift in team focus adversely affected Speights, who is known more for his offensive capabilities. Frequent clashes with the coaching staff led to a career-low 11.5 minutes per contest. He did, however, get one start against the New Orleans Hornets on January 3, 2011 and notched 12 points and six rebounds. For the season, he averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds, both career lows.
Memphis Grizzlies (2012–2013)
On January 4, 2012, Speights was acquired by the Memphis Grizzlies as a part of a three-team trade that sent Xavier Henry to the New Orleans Hornets and two future second round picks to the Philadelphia 76ers.
On June 29, 2012, the Grizzlies extended a qualifying offer to Speights, making him a restricted free agent.
On July 13, 2012, Speights re-signed with the Grizzlies to a two-year, $8 million contract.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2013)
On January 22, 2013, Speights was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first round draft pick, in exchange for Jon Leuer. In his half a season with the Cavaliers, Speights averaged 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 39 games.
Golden State Warriors (2013–2016)
Speights won his first NBA championship with the Warriors after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals in six games. After being the team’s top scoring option off the bench in 2014–15, he gained the nickname "Mo Buckets".
On June 29, 2015, the Warriors exercised his team option for the 2015–16 season.
During the 2015–16 season, Speights helped the Warriors record a 24–0 start to the season (an NBA record) and helped them finish 73–9, the best overall record in NBA history, surpassing the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls' mark of 72–10. In Game 3 of the Warriors' 2016 first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets, Speights, who didn't attempt a three-pointer in the first 29 playoff games of his career, was 3-of-6 on three-pointers and finished with 22 points in a 97–96 loss. The Warriors went on to defeat the Rockets in five games. In the second round, Speights helped the Warriors defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in five games to qualify for the Western Conference Finals. In their conference finals match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Warriors fought back from a 3–1 deficit in the series to win clinch a 4–3 victory. In Game 5 of the series, Speights scored 14 points in 9 minutes to help the Warriors save their season. With a Game 7 victory, the Warriors moved on to the NBA Finals for the second straight year. The Warriors would again face the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the Warriors going up 3–1 in the series following a Game 4 win, they went on to lose the series in seven games to become the first team in NBA history to lose the championship series after being up 3–1.
Los Angeles Clippers (2016–2017)
On July 12, 2016, Speights signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. On January 16, 2017, he scored a season-high 23 points in a 120–98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. On May 23, 2017, Speights opted out of his contract for the 2017–18 season with the Clippers, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Orlando Magic (2017–present)
On July 27, 2017, Speights signed with the Orlando Magic. On October 30, 2017, he scored 18 points and hit a career-high six 3-pointers, including five in a six-minute span, in a 115–99 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Speights won an NBA Championship|