Marcus Morris

Ex-Celtic Marcus Morris opens up about free agency decision

Ex-Celtic Marcus Morris opens up about free agency decision

Free agency didn't come without controversy for Marcus Morris.

The former Celtics forward agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Spurs on July 7, but backed out of that deal to sign a one-year, $15 million contract with the Knicks instead. San Antonio reportedly was "pissed" about the change of heart, and Morris fired his agent Rich Paul shortly thereafter.

In an interview with The Athletic, Morris opened up about his tumultuous offseason and awkward situation with the Spurs.

“I have a good relationship with those guys and I have so much respect for [head coach] Pop [Gregg Popovich], [general manager] RC [Buford] and [assistant GM] Brian Wright,” Morris told The Athletic. “The first thing that I did when I knew I would be going another direction, I called and made sure they knew. There was no shade. There’s no disrespect. I had great conversations afterward, and as long as I feel that I’m clear with them and gave them my truth, I feel good about moving forward.

“I was under the impression that I didn’t have anything left. I thought at the time that the Spurs deal was all that I had. The process wasn’t what I expected and it didn’t go the right way.”

It appears there was no ill will on Morris' end, but it's understandable for there still to be some sour grapes on the Spurs' side.

Before choosing New York over San Antonio and firing his agent, Morris also turned down a more lucrative offer with the Clippers. L.A. reportedly offered Morris a three-year $41 million deal at the start of free agency, but he opted to "make the best decision for him and his family."

Morris will hope for a smoother free agency process when he hits the market again next summer.

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NBA Rumors: Clippers offered Marcus Morris large contract at start of free agency

NBA Rumors: Clippers offered Marcus Morris large contract at start of free agency

It's been a tumultuous offseason for Marcus Morris.

The former Celtics forward stirred up some controversy when he backed out of his agreement with the Spurs to sign with the Knicks in free agency. San Antonio offered Morris a two-year, $20 million deal, but he ultimately chose New York's one-year, $15 million offer instead.

That decision led to Morris parting ways with his agent, Rich Paul, and the Spurs reportedly being "pissed" about the 29-year-old's change of heart.

Apparently, San Antonio's offer wasn't the only one Morris turned down. According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, he also declined a three-year, $41 million offer from the Clippers at the start of free agency.

Isola writes:

Morris, however, lost out on a much more lucrative contract with the LA Clippers, who were prepared to pay him $41 million over three seasons. A Clippers source said the three-year deal included a provision for Morris to receive 50 percent of his salary on Oct. 1.

Morris was hoping to earn $40 million over two years but the Clippers couldn’t offer that deal if they wanted to sign Kawhi Leonard to a max contract. Once Morris took that stance, the Clippers moved on and acquired Portland’s Maurice Harkless in a four-team trade that included Jimmy Butler signing with the Miami Heat. Harkless will earn $11 million next season, or $2 million less than what Morris would have made with the Clippers.

The Clippers certainly aren't losing sleep over Morris declining their offer. They went on to sign superstar Kawhi Leonard and trade for another star in Paul George.

As for Morris, he might regret overestimating his market value early in the offseason. Fortunately for him, he'll get another shot at it next July with a new agent.

NBA rumors: Spurs 'pissed' about Marcus Morris free agency situation

NBA rumors: Spurs 'pissed' about Marcus Morris free agency situation

The San Antonio Spurs are not having a good summer,

They agreed to a two-year contract with Marcus Morris in NBA free agency, but the veteran forward reneged on the deal and instead signed a one-year, $15 million pact with the New York Knicks.

Frank Isola of The Athletic reported on the Morris situation Friday, and he got one general manager to explain how the Spurs are feeling.

What Morris and the Knicks pulled off can certainly be classified as unethical, but it’s not illegal. All’s fair in love, war and NBA free agency, even if the Spurs didn’t like it.

“They’re pissed” is how one general manager described it.

Morris would've been a nice upgrade for the Spurs, who have made zero notable improvements to a roster that finished as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference last season. The main problem for San Antonio is many of its competitors in the West have gotten better this offseason, and the likelihood of the Spurs making any substantial improvements is now pretty low considering all of the top free agents already have signed.

The Spurs could look to trade star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who has one more year left on his contract, but that kind of move likely would result in the team punting on the 2019-20 season. As long as legendary head coach Gregg Popovich is still running the show, it's hard to envision the Spurs not trying to be as competitive as possible in the Western Conference playoff race.

The good news for the Spurs is talented point guard Dejounte Murray is set to return to the lineup after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. His comeback could be the upgrade the Spurs need to once again be a tough out in the playoffs.

Report: Details emerge about the Morris-Rich Paul split>>>

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