NBA Rumors: Knicks Could Pursue Two Other Celtics Mainstays In Free Agency, Per ‘NBC Sports Boston’

Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, and Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics celebrate their win over the Phoenix Suns in a November 2018 game.
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Most of the buzz surrounding the New York Knicks ahead of the 2019 offseason has focused on the likelihood that Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will sign with the team as free agents this summer. However, a new report suggests that the Knicks are also interested in two of Irving’s more notable teammates — backup point guard Terry Rozier and forward Marcus Morris — as potential offseason acquisitions.

Citing “multiple” league sources, NBC Sports Boston‘s A. Sherrod Blakely wrote that the Knicks have also been watching “at least two” other Celtics, including Morris and Rozier, during Boston’s recent Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. In particular, the Knicks have reportedly had a “steady” interest in Rozier, with this interest picking up last year when he filled in for an injured Irving during the 2018 playoffs, and continuing until the NBA’s trade deadline in February.

Rozier, who turned 25 earlier this year, is due to become a restricted free agent this summer. This means the Celtics can match any offer sheet signed by the reserve point guard during the offseason. Per Bleacher Report, Rozier averaged nine points and 2.9 assists as Irving’s backup but shot only 35.2 percent from the field in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Morris is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the 2019 offseason formally kicks off on July 1. While Morris’ name hasn’t been mentioned in too many trade and free agency rumors in recent months, Blakely noted that the veteran forward’s strong play in the 2019 playoffs could make him a valuable acquisition for a number of teams this summer.

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Over nine playoff games this year, Morris averaged 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc. He also averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds and attempted a career-high 389 three-pointers in regular season action. Per NBC Sports Boston‘s Blakely, it’s a “fair” expectation that Morris will demand a contract that will pay him at least twice as much as the $5.375 million he earned this season.

While Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier aren’t anywhere close to superstar level, Bleacher Report pointed out that the two Celtics players could be “valuable in the right situation,” and could be solid fallbacks for the Knicks in case their “Plan A” of signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant falls through. The outlet added that if the Knicks do end up signing Durant and/or Irving, Rozier and Morris could offer New York the depth it needs in order to be truly competitive in postseason action.