Charania follows up by tweeting that several contending teams are expressing interest in Marcus Morris. He doesn’t explicitly state that the Lakers are among those teams, but it seems safe to connect those dots.
While Morris could be a nice fit for the Lakers, it would be a challenge for the club to build a trade package for him with Kuzma as a centerpiece. Los Angeles would need to send out at least $10MM in salary and Kuzma makes just under $2MM. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope unlikely to waive his no-trade clause to accept a trade to New York, that means the Lakers would have to package three or four players to get up to $10MM.
The Knicks added several veteran power forwards during the 2019 offseason, signing Morris, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson in free agency. However, there’s no guarantee that any of those players will be with the franchise for the long term. Only Randle has a fully guaranteed salary for next season, and the man that signed off on all those deals – former president Steve Mills – was dismissed today by the team. It’s possible new interim head of basketball operations Scott Perry envisions a young player like Kuzma as a more logical long-term investment at the four.
Let’s round up a few more Knicks-related items…
- While it remains to be seen what sort of compensation the Raptors would want for Masai Ujiri, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv that a team in a similar situation last year asked for two first-round picks when another club inquired about a top executive under contract. That exec was considered to be a tier below Ujiri, according to Begley, who suggests that any Knicks’ discussions for the Raptors’ president of basketball operations would probably have to start with a baseline of two first-rounders.
- Within that same story, Begley identifies several other veteran executives who could make sense as targets for the Knicks, including Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon. Sources tell Begley that Langdon has fans within the organization.
- Kevin Durant‘s manager Rich Kleiman could be a candidate for the Knicks’ front office opening, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. A longtime fan of the team, Kleiman has previously expressed interest in running the Knicks. Sources tell Berman that Kleiman would likely want to hire Mark Jackson as New York’s head coach if he were in position to do so.