The Los Angeles Lakers were loosely connected to a deal for Marcus Morris yesterday when it leaked that the New York Knicks were interested in acquiring Kyle Kuzma, but during an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski explicitly reported that the Lakers are interested in Morris (as are the LA Clippers):
Woj ended this segment by calling LA an 'arms race' right now between the Clippers and Lakers trying to acquire Marcus Morris.— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 5, 2020
UPDATE: With around three hours to go until the deadline, the Knicks are still after a Kuzma-for-Morris deal:
Knicks trying to land Kyle Kuzma in a deal that would include Marcus Morris. D’Angelo Russell, who was a tidy minus-48 vs. Brooklyn last night, also remains a target.— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) February 6, 2020
How would the Lakers be able to make that kind of deal work when Kuzma makes just under $2 million and Morris makes $15 million? Well, the always plugged in Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that the feeling is that Danny Green would need to be involved in the deal, with the Knicks likely moving him on to a third team:
Lakers/Clippers in trade conversations about Knicks' Marcus Morris, sources. NY interested in Kyle Kuzma; would need Danny Green's contract to make work. NY would want to move Green to another team. Clippers willing to part with Mo Harkless, but like Landry Shamet, who NY wants.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 5, 2020
Green hasn’t had his best season for the Lakers, but he’s still shooting 37.2% from 3-point range, and the Lakers giving up one of their most effective wing defenders and their only valued young prospect under the age of 25 for... Marcus Morris(???)... would certainly be... a choice. And I’m not the only one who thinks so:
or mathematical one - Kuz plus small contracts is viable for Morris if the Knicks make roster room— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) February 5, 2020
I would HATE this move. https://t.co/o4GYvAuttL— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) February 5, 2020
For the record, Morris has been good for New York — averaging nearly 20 points a game while shooting 43.9% from three, but he’s a free agent at the end of the year, and Green and Kuzma would seem to be quite a bit of depth to give up for him if this was the fully completed version of the deal.
UPDATE: And from the sound of Turner’s full report, it appears this leak is coming from the Knicks, with no indication of how much or little willingness the Lakers would actually have to include Green in such a deal:
The Knicks know they’d probably have to take Lakers guard Danny Green in a deal for Morris. But the Knicks would want Green’s $14.3 million salary absorbed by another team.
Anyway, it seems like there is something that has yet to leak out about this deal, or some other context we’re missing, so stay tuned to see how this develops. Right now, this seems strange.
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