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Rumor: Marcus Morris suitors believe Knicks have agreement for him to stay

Marcus Morris has been on the record for saying he sees the New York Knicks as a long-term option, responding to trade rumors by objecting he wants to play out the season in The Garden.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, both parties believe they will come to an agreement this summer with the soon-to-be free agent, as “strong mutual interest” exists.

The Knicks are bound to get plenty of offers for Morris, who is averaging 19.2 points and 5.5 rebounds while rifling in 43.9% of his 3-pointers this season.

Morris’ microwave nature and his ability to play at either forward spot is highly enticing for teams, especially the Los Angeles Clippers, who nearly locked in a three-year deal with the veteran in free agency.

Many believe Morris could fetch a late first-round pick in negotiations, considering he’s not locked in beyond this 2019-20 season, but even that juicy fruit dangled in front of Knicks brass might not be enough to land him.

The Knicks reportedly see Morris as a building block due to his locker room presence and his versatile skill set.

If New York intends to re-sign Morris in the summer, it can use the non-Bird exception to sign him to a contract that starts at $18 million and is as long as four years — though that would lock him in until he’s 35 years old.

The Knicks can exceed the cap to re-sign Morris because of this exception, but Morris’ cap hold for next summer of 2020 would still be $18 million nonetheless.