The New York Knicks swiped Marcus Morris away from the San Antonio Spurs before he signed a contract, reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $15 million deal.
The hiccup in negotiating Reggie Bullock‘s contract with the New York Knicks opened cap space for the New York Knicks to seek other players. That reportedly shifted their focus towards Marcus Morris, who agreed to, but did not sign, a two-year, $20 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
Well, on Thursday night, Morris officially shifted to the Knicks, agreeing to a one-year, $15 million contract, according to Stadium and The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Morris told Charania this was “based on the best situation for me and my family.”
Whether the Knicks sign Bullock remains unknown, as they still have a $4.8 million contract exception to use. He previously agreed to two years, $21 million.
With this latest signing, Morris takes the Knicks to 14 players. Bullock could make it 15, but, for now, they have a space to add someone, whether from the free agent market, re-signing Lance Thomas or taking a player off the summer league team. Kenny Wooten and Tyler Cavanaugh are among the standouts.
For Morris’ impact, he can handle either forward spot and play center in small-ball lineups. The versatility exists, it just depends on where he fits into the playing-time pecking order.
In the frontcourt, the Knicks have Morris, Kevin Knox, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson to use. Each player has an argument for at least 25 minutes per game. Of course, that probably will not happen, so someone like Gibson can take a smaller role than usual or Robinson might not take the step forward, role-wise, that was previously expected.
What will entice head coach David Fizdale to use Morris often is his defensive work and ability to stretch the floor. If he consistently incorporates this into his game, there is starting upside, even moving past Knox, depending on how he opens the season.
This move’s impact will trickle down the crowded frontcourt, though, and its officially impact will not come to fruition until training camp, when the team aligns and preps for the 2019-20 season.
Either way, the Knicks are adding pieces to make this 17-65 team competitive. No free agents from that team have re-signed, and, along with the draft picks, this is a new-look roster from top to bottom. Morris is just the latest piece to the puzzle.