Marcus Morris is rumored to be interested in signing with the New York Knicks on a one-year deal. His value as a veteran to the team’s young core is hard to dismiss.
The San Antonio Spurs are losing out on a free agent signing to the New York Knicks. Oh, and the year is 2019. Okay, maybe it’s Marcus Morris.
But still, that’s kind of a big deal right?
Even if it’s not, the nine-year veteran could offer a lot to a team whose best players are 21 years and younger. A look at Morris’s potential fit in New York, and just what he could bring to MSG.
Whether you’re reading into it or not (and trust that most Knicks fans are), it’s been quite some time since an above-average player chose New York over a prime franchise like San Antonio.
Skip Bayless of Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed, for one, was shocked.
Morris played 75 games with the Boston Celtics last season and 13.9 points and a career-high 6.1 rebounds per game. He also made a career-high 146 three-pointers on 38 percent shooting.
Marcus can still play, and he plays to win.
Yes, I know he signed with the Knicks, who won just 17 games last season, but the point still stands.
Boston birthed the playoffs last season as the Eastern Conference’s four-seed, eventually falling in the semifinals to MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Morris is almost the last of names on a list of Celtics’ players to blame (top of the list rhymes with wiry). He averaged 14.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in the five-game series.
The only other Knicks player with a playoff background is Taj Gibson. Morris’s experience will be more than welcome. And the entire league, along with sports media, has taken notice.
A Model for Kevin Knox
The Knicks have high hopes for 19-year old Kevin Knox, whom they drafted ninth overall in last year’s draft.
And those hopes escalated into expectation after the rookie ruled the Las Vegas Summer League.
But the aggressive and strong-armed kid most saw bully other players his age never appeared in the regular season. And if he did, it was never for more than a game.
Knox has displayed tremendous potential from a shooting standpoint already, but the question remains on how he’ll physically translate his talents to the NBA.
Who would be a better mentor (especially among those considered available) than Marcus Morris? While most assumed he was just another power forward being signed to the plethora of names before him, Morris began his career playing the three.
And he still does, just in bigger lineups.
What Morris could offer Knox doesn’t have a price tag–unlike his hefty potentially one-year deal worth $15-million deal. But it also helps validate New York paying that much in the first place.
Clearly, general manager Scott Perry and President of Basketball Operations Steve Mills have seen an intangible value to adding Morris into their young locker room. And I’d be willing to bet his entire salary that a large portion of that has to do with Knox.
Instilling the right veterans not only into a locker room but into the ear of some rookies means everything for their career.
And hey, if it doesn’t work out, that’s still a relatively tradeable contract come February.
Potential Deadline Asset
There’s a saying that I’ve heard in my years throughout business offices and practices. Anyone can interview well.
Maybe the truth of the matter is just that: Perry and Mills have fallen for some façade instilled in them by Morris and his agent (maybe even his twin brother Markieff).
It’s possible that Morris, among other signed players, are not the package the Knicks front staff has bought in on.
Even then, should that prove the case, the entirety of New York’s free agency signings are on relatively tradeable deals. And when the deadline comes around mid-February, teams will come calling for Morris’ services especially.
When it’s broken down to basics, this is a win-win, hell, add another win, situation for the Knicks. They’ve signed a quality veteran swingman who, should he choose, can contribute beneficially to the culture and nature of this team.
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