Morris may renege on Spurs to take 1-year, $15M deal with Knicks

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An agreement is only words until the names are signed on the dotted line, and the San Antonio Spurs look like they’re going to be victims of a change of heart.

Free-agent forward Marcus Morris is reportedly weighing the option of backing out of his two-year, $20 million verbal agreement with the Spurs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears.

The New York Knicks are swooping in with a one-year offer worth a significantly higher dollar amount, $15 million. Morris averaged 13.9 points and brought down 6.1 rebounds per game last season for the Boston Celtics.

The University of Kansas product would help bolster the frontcourt of either team he chooses. He’s an attractive free agent because he can stretch the floor, making 37.5% of his three-point attempts last season. 

This would be somewhat of a blow to the Spurs. They have already shipped out floor-spacing forward Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards to clear enough room for the full $9.3 million mid-level exception for the deal.

It’s too late in free agency to find a comparable player to Morris to spend the money on. San Antonio might have to get creative to find another rotation big man by the time the season starts.

The Knicks have an unexpected amount of extra cap space after free-agent forward Reggie Bullock and the team began renegotiating his two-year, $21 million deal to lower the price tag.  

This would be a substantial loss for San Antonio, especially considering how it traded Bertans thinking it had Morris locked up. The Spurs have the ninth-longest odds to win the Western Conference (33/1) at BetOnline, so they figure to be right on the edge of making the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Knicks have the longest odds to win the Atlantic Division at 15/1, and they have the eighth-longest number to win the East (33/1).

Adding Morris could be the difference in making the playoffs or not for the Knicks, who were jolted by New Orleans winning the lottery and the rights to Zion Williamson. Even worse, they then saw Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant select Brooklyn over them in free agency.