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Knicks Trade Rumors: Latest on Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Dennis Smith Jr.

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis, left, celebrates with forward Marcus Morris Sr. after hitting a basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the the Denver Nuggets, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The New York Knicks' Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis and Dennis Smith Jr. are reportedly generating interest ahead of the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline.

SNY's Ian Begley reported Tuesday the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams with an eye on Morris, while the Minnesota Timberwolves lead the group that could target Smith in the coming weeks.

Morris, who backed out of a verbal agreement with the San Antonio Spurs in July to sign with the Knicks, is now "one of the most valuable veterans on the trade market," per Begley.

The 30-year-old Philadelphia native is averaging a team-high 19.1 points along with 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists through 33 appearances this season. He's also knocking down 2.7 threes per game while shooting 46.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Those numbers paired with the limited financial commitment required from his one-year, $15 million contract make him an ideal target for a contender. So it's no surprise to see the Clippers, Lakers and Sixers listed as the leading potential landing spots.

"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," Morris told reporters Monday. "That was the reason why I made the decision to come here, going back on the decisions I made, along with a lot of other things. I'm here and I enjoy this organization, I enjoy the players they got here and I want to be here long term."

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Portis could be a fallback option for whichever of the listed title hopefuls doesn't land Morris. He's averaged 10.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 threes in 36 games during his first season with New York.

Meanwhile, Smith was one of the key pieces the Knicks received in last year's blockbuster deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.

After showing some promise last season by averaging 14.7 points, 5.4 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 21 games with New York after the trade, he's struggled to earn playing time this year. He's been on the floor for just 16.1 minutes per game across 21 appearances.

Going to the Wolves likely wouldn't lead to an immediate uptick in usage since they have Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier at the point. Teague is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, however, and Smith's presence would be insurance if he exits via the open market.

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