Celtics

NBA Rumors: Marcus Morris signs $15M contract with Knicks after firing agent

NBA Rumors: Marcus Morris signs $15M contract with Knicks after firing agent

It appears Marcus Morris has found a new home ... for real this time.

The former Boston Celtics forward has signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the New York Knicks in free agency, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday.

Morris' deal puts an end to a bizarre saga that began when he reportedly agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs on July 6, only to renege on that agreement late last week with the intention of signing with the Knicks.

It then was revealed Sunday that Morris had fired his agent, Klutch Sports' Rich Paul, who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis and several other NBA stars. According to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy, Morris turned down a three-year, $41 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers before pivoting to the Spurs, who offered him less money and fewer years on his deal.

It's unclear who replaced Paul as Morris' agent, but the 29-year-old managed to get paid by the Knicks after another solid statistical season (13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and a career-high 44.7 shooting percentage) in Boston.

Morris joins the Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving and the Philadelphia 76ers' Al Horford as three ex-Celtics who will play the C's four times this season in the Atlantic Division.

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Gordon Hayward wishes Kyrie Irving good luck, 'excited to welcome... the other guys'

Gordon Hayward wishes Kyrie Irving good luck, 'excited to welcome... the other guys'

BURLINGTON, Mass. — The role that a healthy Gordon Hayward will play next season is a big deal for the Boston Celtics. 

But it becomes even more significant with the Celtics being among the teams that got swept up in the sea of change that engulfed the NBA this summer during free agency. 

In addition to losing Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn) and Al Horford (Philadelphia), the Celtics traded away Aron Baynes to Phoenix to free up salary cap space, and lost Marcus Morris who signed with the New York Knicks. 

“The interesting part of the league is the drama that happens every offseason,” Hayward told reporters following the Boston Celtics and Arbella Insurance Home Makeover Program. “I don’t know if there’s any league like that, where you have major guys moving teams.”

But the talk around these parts centers heavily on Irving, who left Boston despite back in October proclaiming he would re-sign with the Celtics

Hayward, who has the same birthday (March 23) as Irving, said the Celtics would miss Irving’s talent for sure. 

“I wish him the best of luck as he goes to Brooklyn. As a team we’re excited about who we have coming in,” said Hayward, who was commenting publicly for the first time since Irving's decision to not re-sign with Boston. “I’m more than excited to welcome Kemba (Walker) and Enes (Kanter), and all the other guys that are new for us.”

Hayward has been a regular at the Celtics practice facility this summer and has been pleasantly surprised to see the Celtic newcomers in regular attendance. 

But as good as they may look, Hayward knows all too well that success for Boston this season will hinge heavily on his play as well as his four teammates — Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart — who are currently bonding down under in Australia as part of Team USA. 

“That’s really cool for us to have four guys on the team, to represent the US,” Hayward said. “For sure, early stages for some bonding and chemistry building. I hope they bring back the gold.”

Hayward was on the list of participants last year to be part of Team USA, but he said his focus this offseason has been on working out in Boston in preparation for next season. 

“I wanted to just stay here, have a whole summer where I could train,” Hayward said. “Try to get myself feeling pretty good.”

As much as this summer has been about building up his body, Hayward admits it has also been good boost to his confidence, too. 

“More than anything, just building back some confidence; being able to do everything that I’m used to doing,” he said. “Reps is what gives you confidence, being able to do things over and over and over and not worry about how my ankle is feeling or having to be cautious with it, has been really good for my confidence.” 

The addition of Walker and Kanter along with the continued growth of Tatum and Brown will certainly bode well for Boston’s chances at success this year. 

But for them to have a special season, one in which they defy the odds and finish at or near the top of the NBA standings, the play of Hayward will go far in determining how far this team can go. 

Last season, Hayward showed flashes near the end of the season of being All-Star Hayward. 

But as defenses tightened up on Hayward, his impact scoring-wise significantly decreased and defensively, he struggled at times keeping himself between the basket and defenders.

The 29-year-old appeared in 72 games for Boston, averaging 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists while averaging 25.9 minutes per game — his fewest since he averaged 16.9 minutes per game as a rookie with the Jazz. 

Hayward should improve most if not all of those numbers this season, especially coming off a summer when he was able to return back to his pre-injury offseason regimen.

“That has felt really nice; being able to train how I’m used to training,” Hayward said. “Not having to worry about doing stuff for only 10 minutes, only doing a certain amount of reps. It’s been really good from that standpoint, I’ll say.”

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Kemba Walker happily joins NBA players in roasting Kyle Kuzma's outfit

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USA TODAY Sports

Kemba Walker happily joins NBA players in roasting Kyle Kuzma's outfit

By all accounts, Kemba Walker sounds like he's getting along well with Team USA ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

But that won't stop him from piling on teammate Kyle Kuzma.

It all started when the young Los Angeles Lakers forward and Team USA member posted an Instagram photo of himself wearing a pretty hideous outfit.

Kuzma immediately took heat for his wardrobe choice -- Isaiah Thomas: "Cuh that ain't it!!!! Come on bro;" Anthony Davis: "Man what the hell you got on!" -- and inadvertently sparked a new trend in the #kuzchallenge.

And guess who joined in with Kuzma standing right next to him during a Team USA photo shoot in Australia?

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown also shared a video on his Instagram story of Walker mocking Kuzma (and getting a pretty good rise out of teammate Jayson Tatum).

This is quality trolling from Walker, and it didn't go unnoticed, as Kuzma fired a playful shot back in the Celtics guard's direction on his Instagram story.

Kuzma and Walker probably won't be as chummy when they meet as rivals during the regular season, but at least the two can have some fun at each other's expense.

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