Marcus Morris caused a stir by backing out of his two-year, $20 million agreement with the Spurs to sign a one-year, $15 million contract with the Knicks.
It’s radical enough whenever a player reneges on a contract agreement. Morris’ situation was complicated by San Antonio already trading Davis Bertans to make room for him, backing out after the moratorium ended and being represented by Rich Paul – the NBA’s most controversial agent.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
New Knick Marcus Morris and his agent Rich Paul have agreed to part ways, sources told the Daily News.
Morris, according to a source, turned down a $41 million offer from the Clippers before pivoting to the Spurs and, eventually, the Knicks.
Bondy initially reported Morris and Nerlens Noel fired Paul. Since, Bondy issued two corrections: Noel remains with Klutch Sports, and Morris and Paul parted ways.
Something clearly went very wrong with Morris’ free agency. Many questions remain about who’s responsible and how.
In some ways, this looks similar to Carlos Boozer’s saga leaving the Cavaliers for the Jazz in 2004. After getting Cleveland to let him hit free agency contingent on re-signing, Boozer instead bolted for Utah. In the aftermath, Rob Pelinka (now Lakers general manager) resigned as Boozer’s agent. Boozer got his better contract. Pelinka moved on in an attempt to save his reputation with teams.
This might not be the same, though. It’s unclear when in this process Paul stopped representing Morris. It’s also unclear just how mutual this parting was.
I’m also curious about details of that $41 million Clippers offer. How many years was that over? Was that the Clippers’ plan before trading for Maurice Harkless and a first-round pick? Was it contingent on Morris waiting in case they didn’t get Kawhi Leonard? We just don’t yet know enough details to evaluate that.