Veteran Marcus Morris may not be the most talked-about incoming free agent in the lead-up to the 2019 offseason, but it appears that the Boston Celtics’ starting power forward could have his share of suitors, including the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
Quoting a report from Shams Charania of subscriber-only publication The Athletic, NBC Sports Boston wrote that Morris is expected to attract “strong” interest as a “second-tier” free agent this summer. According to Charania, a number of teams — the Knicks, Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, and Sacramento Kings — are likely to make attempts to add him to their roster, where he could contribute as a starter or off the bench, depending on the team’s needs.
Per Charania’s league sources, Morris is still “open-minded” about a possible return to the Celtics, and the team is also hoping to bring him back for the 2019-20 season. However, he added that Boston has a number of “summer priorities” ahead of re-signing Morris, such as the team’s goal to convince superstar point guard Kyrie Irving to remain with the team.
A former first-round pick out of the University of Kansas, the 29-year-old Morris had a solid year for the Celtics, starting 53 out of 75 games, averaging 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, and shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range, per Basketball-Reference. As noted by NBC Sports Boston, Morris also played well in 2017-18, as he took over from Gordon Hayward after he went down with a season-ending injury during the Celtics’ first game, producing on both ends of the floor and playing both forward positions.
According to NBC Sports Boston, it won’t be a “disaster” for the Celtics if the team loses Marcus Morris in free agency, as it wouldn’t make sense to pay him an overly lucrative contract to keep him around. Furthermore, the outlet explained that if Morris signs with another team, that would allow promising youngsters Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to play more minutes and get more touches.
While Charania mentioned that the Celtics are prioritizing re-signing Kyrie Irving over someone like Morris, recent reports have suggested that Boston is preparing for a future without the 27-year-old point guard. According to a recent report from The Inquisitr, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders recently tweeted that the Celtics are supposedly planning to build around Brown, Tatum, and their other young core players, while moving away from the idea of re-signing Irving and trading for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.