The LA Clippers kept one of their biggest free-agent priorities.
Free agent Marcus Morris has agreed to a $64 million, four-year deal to return to the Clippers, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The agreement comes as Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell left the Clippers to agree to a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Forward JaMychal Green, another key Clippers free agent, agreed to a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Denver Nuggets, a league source told ESPN, confirming news first reported by The Athletic.
Meanwhile, free agent Patrick Patterson is also returning to the Clippers on a one-year deal, Excel Sports Management agent Sam Goldfeder told Wojnarowski.
Morris played in only 19 regular-season games and 13 postseason games for the Clippers, who fell short of their title goal by blowing a 3-1 lead and losing in the second round to Denver. But Morris started each game he played in and became a key contributor, scoring in double figures in nine playoff games.
The 6-foot-8 Morris gave the Clippers versatility in their frontcourt, averaging 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 47.5% from 3-point range in the playoffs.
The Clippers beat out other teams competing for Morris at last season’s deadline by trading Maurice Harkless to the New York Knicks, along with a 2020 first-round pick, a protected 2021 first-round swap option and a 2021 second-round pick from Detroit. They also sent guard Jerome Robinson to Washington as part of the three-team deal for Morris.
Morris was a top priority entering free agency, but with Harrell gone, the Clippers really needed Morris’ versatility to play center and defend big and small frontcourt players. Morris also brings his much-needed trademark physicality, although he sometimes toes the line, such as when he sparked controversy during the first round against Dallas. He stepped on Luka Doncic’s left ankle during Game 5 and denied trying to injure Doncic, who took exception while playing with a sprained ankle. Morris was also ejected in Game 6 after committing a flagrant foul on Doncic. The veteran again denied he was trying to hurt Doncic.
Morris, 31, has played with six teams and was having a career season with the Knicks before the trade to the Clippers. He averaged a career-high 19.6 points and 43.9% 3-point shooting in 43 games with New York.