Knicks Sign Marcus Morris

JULY 16: Morris has officially signed with the Knicks, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

JULY 11: The Knicks have agreed to a one-year, $15MM deal with Marcus Morris, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link). Morris had previously come to an agreement with the Spurs but chose not to honor the verbal agreement.

San Antonio was planning on using its mid-level exception to sign Morris and turned its DeMarre Carroll acquisition into a sign-and-trade in order to accommodate Morris on a two-year deal worth approximately $19MM. The Spurs traded away Davis Bertans as part of the Carroll sign-and-trade.

“I had to make this decision based on the best situation for me and my family,” Morris said (via Charania). “This is no knock on the Spurs. I have respect for them.”

New York had the flexibility to add Morris after renegotiating its deal with Reggie Bullock. Bullock agreed to terms with the Knicks on a two-year, $21MM pact, but the franchise nixed that deal over health concerns. Ian Begley of SNY.tv tweets that New York plans to amend the agreement with Bullock.

Morris, who earned the No. 22 spot on our list of this offseason’s top 50 free agents, was the most notable name still on the board. The 29-year-old had a solid year in Boston as the Celtics’ primary starting forward in 2018/19, averaging 13.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG with a .447/.375/.844 shooting line. He’ll join a Knicks frontcourt that also features newly-added veterans like Bobby Portis, Julius Randle, and Taj Gibson in addition to incumbent youngsters Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox.

The move to sign Morris exhausts New York’s cap room. The team has the room exception available to sign Bullock or another free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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30 thoughts on “Knicks Sign Marcus Morris

  1. JonnyLucas

    I like this move for Morris. He might be the leading scorer on that team… maybe set himself up for a weak FA class near year.

    • Curtisrowe

      He isn’t going to be the leading scorer sharing time with Randle, Gibson, and Portis.

      Salaries next year.

      Portis 15. 5 Million

      Morris 15 million

      Gibson 10 Million

      Randle 21 million

      61.5 million for power forwards. I like how the Knicks think.

      • FlaveFlava

        I was saying this to someone the other night before they signed Morris. Not to mention they’ve committed multiple years to all 4 of them. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

        • x%sure

          Three have team options for their second year.

          Gibson will be a 5 but they did at last overspend for the 4 with the Morris signing.

        • eschizzle

          Only Randle is guaranteed past this year. The others might be overpaid, but you have to overpay to get someone to join a last place team and with them essentially on expiring contracts there really is no risk. If they play poorly, they’ll be gone at the end of the year. If they play well, Knicks can keep them for a 2nd year or trade them at the deadline to a contender.

    • Phattey

      He’s not going to be a leading scorer with how many shots Knox throws up a night dude has no problem jacking up 20 shots a night and only making 2 of them

  2. mcmillankmm

    Ruins his reputation a bit, not that it was great to begin with

    • Rekordbreaka

      While I understand what you are saying I really don’t believe this will ruin his reputation amongst his peers… his deal with NYK pays him 15 million for 1 year… his SA deal was 9 million with a player option for 9 more… easy choice, and one I believe other players would understand.

    • Rocket32

      Why would other teams or players think less of him just because he signed with the Knicks? No one in the NBA is going to view him worse for signing with the team that put the best offer for him on the table. In this situation it would be stupid to not take the Knicks offer unless his main concern is being on a contender.

      • x%sure

        Some will think of him as unethical. But it would be hard not to do the same if a chance for additional millions arose, and with no attachment to the Spurs.

        • jump shot

          1) no player is gonna be critical of a decision that the Players Association fought for in collective bargaining to be able to make
          2) teams/ownership can (and will) cut or trade you at anytime…. players are allowed the same “loyalty” (none)

      • It’s not playing for the Knicks. It’s breaking the unwritten rule that moratorium handshake deals are honored. All players, agents and teams have an interest in that remaining the case, for obvious reasons. That said, I do think players won’t generally hold it against him. But this “rule” was really enforced through the teams and even old school agents not having it. The latter stigma has faded in recent years.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          I get what you’re saying but the guy and the team were literally breaking the rules against negotiating before the deadline.

  3. Wow. This makes the Knicks’ bigs the best group in the NBA, in a street fight.

  4. Norm Chouinard

    Night in night out he was the steadiest Celtic lasty year. The Knicks now have 4 players who are by the metrics NBA starters, Taj, Randall, Mitchell Robinson, and Morris. Doesn’t matter if they get their 26 minuites off the bench. Last year they finished with 1.

    • Unless there are a lot OT games, they won’t all get 26 min game, as their position flexibility (and that of Portis) is only to 4 and 5 (96 min total). In Fiz World, that means 18-20 min a night for each, as everyone gets a “taste”.

      • Norm Chouinard

        Positionless basketball and Mitchell Robinson’s foul trouble will help spread the minutes.

        • x%sure

          Does anyone else see Randle as a viable 3? Of course that brings Knox into the math; the minutes will still be tight; but Randle will get 30 or so.

          • Randle has been thought of as a 5. Mostly because he can’t move laterally well enough to cover anyone at the perimeter. He also can’t shoot, but I think the defense is why he’s often listed and thought of as a 5.

              • Actually he is worse (metrics), but Kanter is certainly a 5 as well, so I’m not sure I understand the point. Hopefully, Randle and Robinson can play together, but it’s sort of a waste of Robinson to have him chasing stretch 4’s around while the short armed Randle defends the paint/rim.

  5. formerlyz

    Should have signed him from the beginning, and this wouldnt have happened

    • Or, alternatively, they could have a clue, and then it wouldn’t have happened either.

    • emac22

      He thought he would make more and the Knicks weren’t going to wait around and get played like they usually do and like so many people seem to be arguing they should have continued to do.

  6. Shango1

    In terms of re-establishing a defensive identity that has been lacking since Ewing and Oakley days, this is the best signing all off-season by the Knicks.

    I know the league has changed and the rules all favor the offensive player. However teams like Toronto and Golden State prove that you must be able to lock it down defensively if you want to become an elite team.

    If he brings the same grit and intensity that he showed in Boston, along with Mitch, Gibson and Portis – that’s a lot of fouls available to used in an aggressive style defense.

    The Knicks defense has been way too soft in recent years and it has been so frustrating to watch them give away games because they couldn’t get a stop.

    • x%sure

      Good point they will be tough. The rookies too… RJB maybe too much so. He is so NOT relaxed

  7. Decius

    Around mid season they will flip one or two of these guys. No stars signed with them(which was their own fault), but they still managed to get tradable assets. Not a bad job considering what happened at the beginning of free agency. As a Knicks fan, I’m not thrilled about the roster but I’m not upset either. Somewhere in the middle.

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