With the Knicks seemingly lottery-bound again, Marcus Morris‘ name has begun to emerge in trade rumors. The veteran forward is on a one-year contract, and the club figures to gauge his value on the market. However, Morris himself doesn’t sound enthusiastic about the idea of being dealt, as Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News details.
“I love being in New York,” Morris said. “Win, lose or draw, I’m here to try to help turn this thing around. You know, I’m not really looking to get traded. That’s just my personal opinion. That’s my approach. But this is the NBA.”
Morris acknowledged that he’s “aware” of the possibility he could be traded. Of the Knicks’ veterans, he’s probably the most valuable, especially given how he has played so far this season, with a team-high 19.0 PPG and .489 3PT% through 23 games. He has also been a locker room leader in New York, and while his individual production hasn’t translated into team success so far, he’d like more of an opportunity to change that.
“I’d rather help turn this thing around,” Morris said. “‘Melo (Carmelo Anthony) said it best. Some guys are not built for New York. I’m built for New York. I’d rather be here and I’d rather help and I’d rather anchor it.”
Morris, who becomes eligible to be traded this Sunday, reneged on a free agent agreement with the Spurs this past summer to join the Knicks. According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, sources believe Morris’ desire to be close to his North Philly roots played a part in that decision, so it makes some sense that he’d want to remain in New York, even with the team struggling.
Still, it’s not as if Morris has any sort of no-trade clause that would stop the Knicks from shopping or moving him. One executive who spoke to Bondy predicted the club could net a protected first-round pick or two second-rounders for Morris, and Ian Begley of SNY.tv heard from three teams that believe a first-rounder is a realistic ask for Morris.
“Teams love his leadership and he’s been shooting incredibly well,” one representative of an Eastern Conference team told Begley. “You can easily see them getting a late first-round pick for him if that team feels Marcus pushes them over the top.”