Despite being called “unprofessional” by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Marcus Morris believes he made the right move in free agency, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Morris backed out of a two-year, $19MM commitment to the Spurs when the Knicks were able to increase their offer after Reggie Bullock‘s contract was reworked. Morris wound up getting $15MM for one season to come to New York, but he insists the decision wasn’t all about money.
“As far as my free agency, it didn’t go as planned,” Morris said at Monday’s Media Day. “A lot of those decisions came off of a lot of unknown sources and unknown situations. I kind of committed very early, [earlier] than I wanted to. New York became involved and I saw opportunity, East Coast, the Mecca, [I’m] from Philly. The biggest thing is … I know they embrace guys like myself. … I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a really surprising year for us.”
There’s more from New York this morning:
- First-round pick RJ Barrett will have to earn his playing time this season, Berman writes in a separate story. Sources tell Berman that some Knicks players believe coach David Fizdale was too easy on last year’s lottery pick, Kevin Knox. Fizdale says he plans a tougher approach with Barrett, adding, “I think this team is more talented, I think we have more guys he has to fight with to get those minutes. But I think the kid is up for it. I think he’s the kind of competitor that embraces it.’’ Barrett said he welcomes the approach, as it’s the only way to improve.
- Frank Ntilikina wasn’t on hand at Media Day and faces an uncertain future after the Knicks spent the summer trying to trade him, notes Steve Popper of Newsday. GM Scott Perry gave reporters a terse response when asked about picking up Ntilikina’s fourth-year contract option, which is valued at about $6.1MM. “We have until October 31 to do that and we won’t discuss any contract things in detail,” Perry said. “So that’s all I’m going to tell you right now.”
- Knox spent much of the offseason watching videos of his rookie year and learning where he needs to improve, writes Scott Thompson of SNY.tv. Part of the change includes better decisions on when to shoot. “I just took a lot of tough 2’s, a lot of contested [and] bad shots that I took last year that I’m going to try to eliminate out of my game this year,” he said. “I think I was forced to take a lot of bad shots late in the shot clock, bad shot selection.”