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NBA Trade Rumors: Teams Expect Lakers, Clippers to Pursue Knicks' Marcus Morris

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 6, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 5: Marcus Morris Sr. #13 of the New York Knicks handles the ball against the LA Clippers on January 5, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The 10-26 New York Knicks should have the opportunity to be sellers before the Feb. 6 trade deadline since the postseason is a remote possibility at best.

One of the team's best assets is 30-year-old forward Marcus Morris, who is coming off a career-high 38 points against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Colin Martin and Ian Begley of SNY.tv provided the latest news on Morris, with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers mentioned as potential suitors:

"As far as a trade market for Morris, several teams continue to say that the Knicks should be able to get a late first-round pick in return for the veteran forward. The New York Post reported that the Sixers have interest in Morris. Opposing teams expect other contenders like the Clippers and Lakers to feel out the market for Morris as well. The issue for the Knicks will be matching salaries, as Morris is making $15 million this season."

Morris is averaging 19.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He's also made it clear he doesn't want to be traded, per Martin and Begley.

"You just asked me that last game," Morris said after the Clips game Sunday. "That isn't going to change. I love our team. I love our future. I just want to be a part of helping these young guys grow into the great players they're going to be."

The Philadelphia native is in his ninth NBA season after playing collegiately at Kansas. He would be a good fit on any of those teams, all of whom are well on their way to the playoffs.

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On the Clippers, Morris could slide into the starting lineup to give the team a third scoring option alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

The Lakers could use some more scoring punch off the bench, where Kyle Kuzma leads the reserves with 11.8 points per game.

The same goes for the 76ers and their top-heavy team, with no reserve averaging more than 8.3 points per night. Marc Berman of the New York Post said Philadelphia has interest in Morris as a "solid two-way forward bench piece."

Morris may want to stay in New York, but his value as a scorer is hard to ignore for potential playoff teams looking for more help as they make championship pushes. He's also the owner of a one-year, $15 million contract, so teams can land him without making a long-term financial commitment.

On the flip side, Morris has been instrumental in the team engineering a slight turnaround under interim head coach Mike Miller after ex-coach David Fizdale was fired following a 4-18 start.

The Knicks have gone 6-8 since then, with Morris playing a key role. He's averaged 20.3 points on 46.3 percent shooting and 4.9 rebounds since Miller's first game against the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 7.

New York is 13th in the Eastern Conference and far away from contending for a championship, but Morris could be part of a solution for more competitive basketball in the near future.

We'll see what the Knicks decide shortly, but until then, Morris and the Knicks are set to face another rumored trade suitor in the Lakers on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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