At least one team that has recently been in touch with the Knicks came away with the impression that Marcus Morris and New York have “strong mutual interest” in working out a new contract in the summer, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard the Knicks might prefer to keep Morris through the deadline and retain him long-term. As Begley notes, the team likes the influence the 30-year-old has had on the younger Knicks players and believe he’s the sort of veteran who can handle the scrutiny that comes with playing in New York.
Begley also rightly points out that if Morris strongly reciprocates the Knicks’ interest, it might not make sense for potential suitors to pursue a trade for him. New York’s asking price would likely be pretty high, and if Morris’ preference is to be a Knick, he could simply return to his old team in free agency at season’s end. A potential trade partner would presumably be more inclined to offer New York a first-round pick if that team believes it has decent odds to re-sign the veteran forward.
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- For as much as the Knicks like Morris, they weren’t fans of the comments he made this week about Jae Crowder, when he referred to the Grizzlies forward as having “female tendencies” on the court. As Marc Berman of The New York Post relays, the Knicks said in a statement that Morris’ comments were “offensive and unacceptable” and “cannot be tolerated.” Morris apologized again for his remarks, per Peter Botte of The New York Post.
- Within an article about Knicks owner James Dolan, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News briefly addressed the team’s front office situation, noting that president Steve Mills and Scott Perry each have mutual options for 2020/21, meaning both the executive and the team would have to opt in. When listing possible front office candidates for the Knicks, Bondy mentioned in passing that he believes Rockets GM Daryl Morey will become a free agent due to the China controversy.
- ESPN analyst Paul Pierce suggested during a Thursday appearance on The Jump that a change in ownership would help turn things around in New York. “I truly believe once they get new ownership you’ll see change,” Pierce said, per Greg Joyce of The New York Post. “You saw it with the Clippers. Look what happened with the Clippers. Now they’re a perennial playoff team, they got better ownership and they’re a championship-contending team now.”
- After missing Wednesday’s game due to a groin injury, Frank Ntilikina will be listed as probable for Saturday’s game vs. Indiana, head coach Mike Miller said today (Twitter link via Mike Vornukov of The Athletic). Point guard Elfrid Payton will be suspended for that game, opening the door for a larger role for Ntilikina.
- In case you missed it, RJ Barrett was named to the World Team’s Rising Stars roster earlier today.