New York Knicks: Why trading Marcus Morris would be bad for the future

Despite contrary views, this writer wants to show why the New York Knicks trading this powerful, forceful veteran player who wants to play for them, is bad for the franchise.

Marcus Morris, Sr. is the best veteran the New York Knicks now have on their team. He is much like Carmelo Anthony in that he’s a star who wants to play here, and just like Anthony, Morris went through some changes to get here. Morris is currently having the best year of his career, averaging 19.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is also second in the league with a 3-point shooting percentage of 46.9.

Is Knicks management and their new basketball consultant going to give up a guaranteed veteran player and mentor for a chance again at a first-round pick?

Considering how the offseason went for the Knicks I believe they were supremely lucky to get the third overall pick and RJ Barrett. I consider RJ to have been the best pick in the draft, but the Knicks’ front office was looking for Zion Williamson who hasn’t taken to the court since Summer League.

Morris turned down a two-year $20 million dollar contract with the San Antonio Spurs, a team that made space for him by trading David Bertans to the Washington Wizards.

Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich considered Morris to be “unprofessional” for backing out of their verbal agreement. At the time it was said that Morris backed out because he wanted to be near his family in Philadelphia. He also wanted to be a Knick. In an interview with Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (subscription required) Morris said as much.

What player besides RJ Barrett have you heard say they want to play for the New York Knicks? This star forward’s veteran presence is needed in the locker room. It takes more than having a great shot to be a great player, or even be a great defensive presence. To be a great player in today’s NBA you have to know how to play the game on the court. How to play with heart. Players have to have that right mindset.

When Morris came to New York he brought this mindset with him: “Old-school Knicks. Protect The Garden. My biggest thing is no one’s coming in there and disrespecting us.” To have this as the anthem for the younger players should teach them to respect the Garden and all it stands for and give them the passion to win, especially at home.

This will take time. Changing coaches, rumors of a front office overhaul, bringing in a great former coach as a “basketball consultant” and the myriad of injuries, the young players sitting on the bench and continued trade rumors, all of this is more than enough to shake up a veteran team let alone 19 to 21-year-olds just starting out.

They have to learn to have a winning mentality on a team that has done nothing but lose. How to get to the playoffs and be a contending playoff team.

A first-round draft pick and a young player on the rise will not teach this young New York Knicks team how to win.

Marcus Morris is a star who wants to win on this Knicks team with these young Knick players. Show me one other player who is having the best year of their career who wants to play for the New York Knicks and I will say okay trade him. This is what Morris told the Post:

I’m a vet in this game. That s–t doesn’t bother me anymore. Rumors are rumors. Look, I told you before I’m in New York and love being here. I’m excited to help to turn this around. I’m not paying that any mind. I’m focused on what we got going on in this locker room.

Until New York has another player who has this passion to play here, let’s hold the noise and let this man and this team play.