The Los Angeles Lakers need to make Marcus Morris a priority before the trade deadline.
The New York Knicks veteran forward made a bolt statement following his team’s latest loss. Morris told reporters on Thursday following the team’s latest blowout loss, this time at home to the Phoenix Suns, that the time for excuses is over. “F–k that,” the 30-year-old said. “The time is now.”
The Knicks are 42 games in and have won only 11 games with the infusion of nine new faces added in the offseason.
Morris is the Knicks’ leading scorer. The former Boston Celtics wing signed a one-year deal with the Big Apple franchise in the summer, spurning the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs had offered a longer deal. Instead ,Morris bet on himself out-performing contract figures offered in the past offseason to secure a richer deal next summer. That has certainly occurred, but the numbers he’s putting up might only occur because he’s a willing body on the lowly ‘Bockers.
Why The Lakers Should Acquire Morris
The Los Angeles Lakers would stand to benefit from acquiring Morris at the NBA’s trade deadline on Feb. 6. The veteran big is averaging 19.0 points per game and shooting 46.7% from 3-point range during the 2019-20 season. Morris has been a lone bright spot for the Knicks, although the organization is loathe to trade him in spite of his expiring deal.
Could Lakers Trade Kuzma to Knicks?
That could be fluff spread to the public to raise Morris’ value, however. Given the right price, the Knicks would absolutely deal Morris to the Lakers. Through the grapevine, New York apparently values acquiring decent and young-ish players over raw assets like future draft picks. Kyle Kuzma has been thrown around trade proposals. And it’s widely known L.A. approached the Sacramento Kings for wing Bogdan Bogdanovic. Should the Lakers be rebuffed approaching the deadline, it would be smart to discuss a deal with Knicks general manager Scott Perry on Morris’ availability.
The question of price is particularly intriguing given the organization and Lakers fans’ evaluation of the 24-year-old Kuzma. Kuzma has far from flourished during the 2019-20 season after the arrival of All-NBA power forward Anthony Davis. Morris has actually mostly played at small forward for New York. So given the franchise’s proclivity to play big, it’s not a stretch to suggest plugging Kuzma at the three would be doable.
Should the Lakers prefer solving their Kuzma-Davis headache by trading the former, the Knicks could be a worthy destination in order to acquire the expiring Morris (who turned down a multi-year offer in the summer from in-arena rival Clippers).
The Lakers are already the tenth-best 3-point shooting team in the NBA. But they are in the bottom third in takes and makes. The potential arrival of Morris would provide reasonable size and shooting for a team that often pairs LeBron James with Davis and JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard in the front court.