New York Knicks: Starting Marcus Morris over Kevin Knox might be genius

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Starting Marcus Morris over Kevin Knox in the 2019-20 NBA season might make sense for the New York Knicks.

Heading into the 2019-20 campaign, with Kevin Knox having yet to really break out of his shell and shape up into the star many claimed he would become, and the acquisition of many forwards onto the New York Knicks roster should a player such as Marcus Morris start over him in the depth chart at the start of the season?

Morris, who signed a one-year, $15 million contract, had a superb season with Boston last year even being featured in the starting lineup for most of the season and even when they were more successful in the playoffs. He averaged 13 points and six rebounds, which isn’t great but is solid for a guy who was usually the fifth or even sixth scoring option.

Although Knox slightly underperformed to Morris as a rookie by averaging 12 points and four rebounds and has already shown he will become a better player than him, there is still more to think about in the long run. Newly signed Knick, Bobby Portis believes they can legitimately make the playoffs this upcoming year. If this is true it really comes down to what the coaches and ownership want.

Should they start Knox and let him bloom into the monster of a player he could potentially become, or should they start Morris as he’s shown he is a solid starter for playoff teams and let Knox develop through being the squad’s sixth man, inevitably making their bench seem deeper with raw talent?

Knox could easily turn into a star off the bench with the amount of attention and touches he would be getting rather than the amount he’d be seeing as a starter. Bringing him off the bench also prevents other players like Dennis Smith Jr and RJ Barrett from fighting over possessions as much as they are trying to develop. This gives all the young talent the room to grow on with each other while not being clogged by one another at the same time.

The answer is a hard yes to starting Morris. Yes, Morris will not be around long term, but if the Knicks want to continue to run down the path of trying to build their team up by securing the marquee free agents every summer, they could take an approach similar to what the Los Angeles Clippers just got away with.

The Knicks could mix young talent with veterans who know how to win and find themselves surprising a lot of people in the playoffs by winning a few games against a way better team and before you know it stumbles across free agents who would actually see the worth in coming to play in the Madison Square Garden.

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So although the short term effects of benching Knox for Morris can be bad, it may just be one of the genius plans the New York Knicks need to take that next step back to relevancy.