NBA rumors: Clippers keeping Harrell, Morris?

Montrezl Harrell and Marcus Morris are the Clippers’ two best and most important free agents this summer. The organization is interested in re-signing both players this offseason, according to league sources. With the Clippers likely operating over the cap even if they renounce the rights to their free agents (unless Green also opts out) and the 2020 free-agent class looking relatively weak, Harrell and Morris are arguably more valuable to the Clippers than they probably are to other teams, given the Clippers’ limited resources to replace them.

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His limitations as a rim protector and rebounder are the primary factors holding him back from being a max or near-max player. The Athletic reported earlier in the season that Harrell was projected to earn as much as $20 million to $25 million annually this offseason, but that figure is believed to be decreasing given how the trade deadline played out and the lack of available cap space. As Danny Leroux of The Athletic recently wrote, only seven teams project to use cap space this summer: Hawks, Knicks, Pistons, Heat, Hornets, Suns and Trail Blazers. Outside of the Hornets, who desperately need youth and talent, it’s unclear where Harrell fits with those teams.
Morris, 30, represents a conundrum for New York before Thursday’s trade deadline. The Knicks could recoup a first-round pick for Morris, who is on an expiring contract, but also want to re-sign him in free agency. Morris, according to sources, would prefer to remain with the Knicks past the deadline and has told people he expects the team to offer a lucrative multi-year deal from New York in the summer.
Brian Dulik: #Knicks C Marcus Morris on trade deadline: “I know how this business goes. It’s hard to ignore -- I’d be lying if I said I did -- but you have to be professional about it. I tell the young guys, even if you do go elsewhere, you’re still playing in the best league in the world."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Knicks have remained enthusiastic about idea of signing Marcus Morris to a new deal this summer, but as trade offers become richer in assets this week, they’ll stay open to idea of moving him. Many contenders have interest in him.
The problem has been finding anyone worth that package. Sources say the Knicks seem hell-bent on keeping Marcus Morris Sr. -- someone the Clippers coveted in free agency.
As noted earlier, the Knicks see Charlotte's Malik Monk as a potential trade target -- teams believe that the Knicks and Marcus Morris have strong mutual interest in Morris signing with New York in free agency this summer; this will impact Morris' value to teams interested in trading for him.
Morris has been both publicly and privately adamant about his desire to stay with the Knicks. It’s a preference rooted in comfort and business. According to sources, the 30-year-old enjoys living within a short distance of family in Philadelphia and believes he’ll secure a lucrative multi-year contract in the summer with the Knicks.
Tthe Knicks can trade, recoup assets and STILL sign Morris free agency — so why not do it? Under that scenario, Morris could vie for a title with a contender and return to New York next season. But again, multiple sources have reiterated Morris has told people he prefers staying with the Knicks over going to a contender.
The Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams that have registered interest in Morris recently, sources say. Because Morris is on a one-year contract and the Knicks are a rebuilding team, there's a sentiment from some fans on social media that New York should trade Morris in exchange for that first-round pick.
The Knicks are probably going to get plenty of calls from teams interested in Marcus Morris between now and next Thursday's NBA trade deadline. You would expect them to listen to any offers on Morris, because that's what any team would do in their situation. But it's worth noting that at least one team in touch with the Knicks recently was left with the impression that Morris and New York have strong mutual interest in reaching an agreement in free agency this summer, per SNY sources.
A few months ago, several NBA executives speculated that Morris could land a late first-round pick in a trade. There's no reason to believe Morris' trade value has slipped since then. He's averaging 19 points per game and shooting 44 percent from the floor. He seems like the kind of player who can add depth to a contending team. The Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams that have registered interest in Morris recently, sources say.
“I have a good relationship with those guys and I have so much respect for (head coach) Pop (Gregg Popovich), (general manager) RC (Buford) and (assistant GM) Brian Wright,” Marcus Morris told The Athletic. “The first thing that I did when I knew I would be going another direction, I called and made sure they knew. There was no shade. There’s no disrespect. I had great conversations afterward, and as long as I feel that I’m clear with them and gave them my truth, I feel good about moving forward. I was under the impression that I didn’t have anything left. I thought at the time that the Spurs deal was all that I had. The process wasn’t what I expected and it didn’t go the right way.”
Morris has seen the speculation surrounding him turning down the Clippers’ three-year offer, but makes it clear that this was his decision and that he wanted to go through his process. “All this stuff that (Paul) didn’t want me to go to the Clippers and didn’t want me to go against LeBron, that’s not true,” Morris said. “He never told me not to take the deal. For as long as I’ve known Rich — and that’s still someone I have love for and that’s still my guy — he has been great in terms of advice. He told me he wanted me to take the Clippers deal. He gave me his advice. “It was my decision and I had to make the best decision for me and my family.”
Morris says he also valued his family and the close proximity to his hometown Philadelphia as part of the reasons he chose New York. Morris spoke to Knicks coach David Fizdale and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich during the process. “Pop and I had a long conversation about everything, not just basketball,” Morris told The Athletic. “I have a lot of love for that organization and the opportunity they were giving me to put on a Spurs jersey. That was part of my process. He was the only coach I spoke to besides coach Fiz. “Playing close to home, being from Philly, I get to see my family a lot.”
Bobby Marks: The one-year $15M contract for Marcus Morris in New York now has the team right at the salary cap. New York still has the $4.8M room exception available and now have 14 players on guaranteed contracts.
Shams Charania: Forward Marcus Morris plans to sign a one-year, $15M deal with the New York Knicks, after reopening his agreement with the San Antonio Spurs, tells @The Athletic @Stadium.
Ian Begley: A league source confirms that Marcus Morris will sign a one-year deal for roughly $15 million with the Knicks. New York is also expected to reach an amended agreement with Reggie Bullock, per sources. The Athletic first reported Morris’ agreement with the Knicks.
Shams Charania: Sources: Free agent Trey Lyles is signing a two-year deal with the Spurs. San Antonio loses Marcus Morris after his week of talks with the Knicks, and signs another top free agent on the market.
There remains mutual interest between the Knicks and Bullock to negotiate a new deal after a medical issue hampered their original agreement, sources said. Bullock's agent, David Bauman, and the Knicks continue to work together on a new agreement for the six-year veteran. The medical issue that caused a hiccup is unclear, but Bullock has dealt with plantar fasciitis in the past. The Knicks originally agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with Bullock that contained a player option in Year 2.
The Knicks have long been enamored by Morris, according to a source, and would have high interest if the forward reneged on his agreement with San Antonio. ESPN reported that Morris is contemplating backing out of his Spurs agreement and would have interest in New York. Yahoo reported that the Knicks have made an offer of $15 million over one season to Morris. That's more valuable than the two-year, $20 million agreement Morris had with San Antonio. [...] On Thursday morning members of the organization felt confident about the prospect of landing Morris, per people familiar with the matter.
An ESPN report stated that Marcus Morris is reconsidering the two-year, $20 million agreement he reached with the San Antonio Spurs. Morris, according to the report, is considering signing with New York. The club is expected to have additional cap space if it re-works its deal with Bullock, and one SNY source said Tuesday that the team was hopeful of landing Morris in wake of the Bullock issue.
Chris Mannix: Marcus Morris has been frustrated by what he thought would be a stronger market for him this summer, source familiar with his situation told @SInow. Knicks can offer a higher salary for next season, while hitting free agency again in 2020.
Free-agent forward Marcus Morris is considering reneging on his agreement with the San Antonio Spurs to take a deal with the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Morris, who played with the Boston Celtics last season, agreed to terms with the Spurs on a two-year, $20 million pact with a player option on the second year.
Jabari Young: On the Marcus Morris front, that was the gossip here in Las Vegas most of yesterday. Word is, there’s a 1-year, $15M deal on the table from #Knicks ... #Spurs in real danger of losing him. @The Athletic
Marcus Morris: No sir! 😂😂
Andrew Greif: Among other dealings today, the Clippers reached out to representatives for Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris, sources said. Both hard-nosed players, which fits the ID Clippers want for the team. The team obviously knows Beverley well.
Other free agents on the Knicks’ radar include their own free-agent center DeAndre Jordan, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins and twins Markieff and Marcus Morris. New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle and the Knicks also have mutual interest, according to sources.
Celtics free agent Marcus Morris will have strong interest as a second-tier free agent, with teams such as the Knicks, Kings, Lakers, Clippers and Bulls expected to be in pursuit, league sources said. Morris, 29, had arguably his best all-around season, averaging 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game and serving as a versatile scorer and defender either as a starter or reserve. League sources say Morris remains open-minded about returning to Boston, which wants to bring Morris back but has several summer priorities such as Kyrie Irving.
Multiple league sources tell NBC Sports Boston that the Knicks, a team with plenty of roster holes to fill this offseason, have interest in at least two other Celtics players besides Irving — Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier — who like Irving, will be free agents this summer. New York’s interest in Rozier has been steady, only to have picked up during Rozier’s strong showing in the playoffs last year and continued through the February trade deadline, which is when Boston made the decision to keep Rozier and the rest of the team intact.
As for Morris, his play in the postseason will increase the number of potential suitors for him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In nine playoff games, Morris averaged 13.7 points on 51.9 percent shooting from the field and 45 percent shooting from 3-point range, in addition to grabbing 8.1 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game. Besides his numbers, the Knicks really liked the tough, rugged brand of basketball he played during the regular season that spilled over into the playoffs as well. The price tag for Morris remains to be seen, but it’s fair to expect that he will at least double (and likely triple) his $5.375 million salary from this past season. Boston will try and find a way to keep Morris in the fold this summer, but he’s likely to get a bigger-money offer from another team.
Adam Himmelsbach: Chatted w/Marcus Morris last night about his future... "I love Boston and I feel like they gave me an opportunity to really be able to showcase my game at a high level. Gave me an opportunity to win, to get to the playoffs, to really take my name and my game to a higher level."
Vincent Ellis: Lot of trade scuttlebutt out there, but a little news for the offseason. Don't be surprised if #Knicks target #Celtics forward Marcus Morris, who will be a FA. And another former #Piston about to get paid.
Morris’ transformation has surprised everyone from Celtics fans to rival team executives. Based on conversations with sources around the league, it’s clear the veteran has set himself up well to cash in when he hits free agency this summer. His development into such a willing and capable 3-point shooter has changed the conversation about him. Combined with his size and versatility, his newfound efficiency would make him a valuable piece on any team.
“A motivator?” he said. “Nah, I wouldn’t say that. Obviously, who wouldn’t want to play well in their contract year, but it wasn’t a motivator. The feeling that I had last year being so close to being in the Finals, that was more of a motivator for me if anything. “Is it in the back of my mind? Nah, man. I mean, I don’t really approach the season and the games like that, to be honest with you. Every year I’ve tried to get better. Even when it wasn’t my contract year, I always tried to improve and bring something else to the game. I’m just getting the opportunity doing it on such a high level with the Boston Celtics, I think it’s just getting noticed more. … So, I don’t think it’s the contract year. I just think I’m in a great system, playing with great players, and I’m being able to feed for myself. It’s not like I can’t get it done.”
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