The Clippers believe newly-acquired Marcus Morris will have a smooth transition to his new team, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Morris was averaging a career-best 19.6 points per game with the Knicks and shooting 43.9% from beyond the arc before Thursday’s trade. Clippers officials expect him to provide an upgrade offensively over Maurice Harkless, who was sent to New York in the deal.
“There may be no better fit than Marcus,” general manager Michael Winger said.
In addition to his scoring prowess, Morris brings another dose of on-court toughness that the organization prides itself on. He’s joining a pair of former teammates in Patrick Beverley and Patrick Patterson, who played alongside him in Houston.
“My brother back with me. It’s on,” Beverley tweeted after the trade was announced.
There’s more Clippers news to pass along:
- Coach Doc Rivers said the team did plenty of background work on Morris before the deal and was pleased with the responses, tweets Jovah Buha of The Athletic. “A lot of research goes into when you make a trade, especially with this team and where we’re trying to go,” Rivers said. “You can’t take any chances. You have to make sure guys are a good fit. … All the intel we had was very positive.” Rivers plans to experiment with some smaller lineups using Morris and JaMychal Green surrounded by three shooters (Twitter link).
- Meeting with reporters tonight, Morris said the Clippers made a positive impression when he met with them in free agency, even though he wound up with the Knicks, relays Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). “I could tell that the main goal here was trying to win a championship and that’s something that I wanted to be part of,” Morris said. “Obviously last summer some things didn’t go the way I thought it would, but we here now, $15MM richer.”
- Joakim Noah remains an option for the Clippers, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. A minor injury forced Noah to cancel a workout with L.A. just before training camp opened in September, but the 34-year-old center has been targeting a return once buyout season began. A source tells Heavy that Noah is fully healthy and “has been working on maintaining his conditioning and is hopeful that he’ll play this season.”
- Even if Darren Collison decides against returning to the NBA this season, that may not mark the end of his career, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy. Collison, who is expected to decide soon and prefers to join the Clippers or Lakers, could put off his comeback until summer.