Both Los Angeles teams were reportedly chasing Marcus Morris at the deadline. The Clippers landed him and picked up Isaiah Thomas as well.
The Knicks have been all over the map in the past few days, making front office changes and reportedly considering a variety of strategies at the deadline. In the end, they moved Marcus Morris to the Clippers in a deal that could help reshape the Western Conference playoffs.
How did the three teams involved each make out?
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have one goal this year and this certainly gets them closer to a title. Marcus Morris has been phenomenal this season — he’s in the 69th percentile in scoring efficiency on isolation and he’s hitting 41.1 percent of his open and wide-open 3s. He can help carry offensive responsibility on the second-unit and work as a spot-up threat and matchup buster when playing with the starters. He’s not an exceptional defender but he’s not bad either and he gives the Clippers one more big body to throw at LeBron. Even more importantly, they kept Morris from joining the Lakers.
New York Knicks
The Knicks appeared to be waffling on trading Morris versus trying to re-sign him but eventually moved him for a decent return. Mo Harkless is the body and matching salary, but the prize is the Clippers first- and second-round picks this year. Both will come towards the end of their respective rounds but if the couldn’t pry Kuzma away from this Lakers this is a reasonable second choice. The Knicks also negotiated pick swap rights for 2021 which is hysterical.
The Knicks also made waves by agreeing with Leon Rose on a deal for him to take over as their next team president. If he can do anything to change the culture of chaos in their front office, it will be far more significant than anything they land in the draft.
The Wizards let Isaiah run wild in their offense and rehab his image enough to turn him into Jerome Robinson. He hasn’t been able to secure a spot in the Clippers rotation but he’s a big scoring guard whose had success in the G League this season and will get a decent look in Washington’s up-tempo offense over the rest of the season.