After originally committing to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Spurs, forward Marcus Morris backed out of that agreement. Instead, accoring to multiple reports, Morris will sign a one-year, $15 million deal with the Knicks.
The Knicks needed more cap room to get this deal done. They created room by re-working Reggie Bullock’s contract after he reportedly had issues with his physical. After pulling the offer for Morris, the Spurs signed forward Trey Lyles with that money.
Morris averaged 13.9 PPG and 6.1 RPG last season for the Celtics. He’s been a consistent player in his eight NBA seasons with the Celtics, Pistons and Suns. Morris joins Bullock, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington in the Knicks free agency list this offseason.
He brings a veteran presence and mental toughness to a very young Knicks team that can use some. From top to bottom, the Knicks have a lot of youth and Morris can teach some of these guys. He gives them some grit and playoff experience that they need as they try and develop and rebuild.
It’s a good chunk of change for a player that might not exactly be worth that much, but for just one year, it’s a no brainer. Once you found out that Bullock’s health was a concern, the Knicks needed a better option. The right move would have been to not sign Bullock, but it seems that wasn’t going to happen.
The real issue for the Knicks is that they have a whole lineup of power forwards now. Morris can play small forward too and probably will, but the Knicks have almost too many forwards on this team. David Fizdale is going to have a lot of coaching to do to try and make these lineups work out this season.
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