Marcus Morris is headed to Los Angeles, but it’s not the Lakers that he’ll be suiting up for. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the New York Knicks are finalizing a deal to send Morris to the Clippers for Maurice Harkless and other assets.
The Lakers made an attempt to acquire Morris, but they didn’t want to include in Kyle Kuzma in any deal, per Charania. On Wednesday, it was reported that the Knicks would want Kuzma back in any deal, in addition to possibly Danny Green.
The Clippers are 2-0 against the Lakers this season.
Obviously the Lakers didn’t want too see Morris fall into the hands of their biggest rival in the Western Conference, but they were smart to draw the line where they did. As great as Morris has been this season, trading both Green and Kuzma for him would have barely made them better, and one could make the argument that it would have actually made them worse.
The same can be said of the Clippers, who are the victors in this scenario not because Morris is head and shoulders better than Harkless, but because they kept Morris away from the Lakers.
With Morris, Robert Covington and Andre Iguodala all off the board, it’s more likely than not that the Lakers will go through the trade deadline without making a move for the first time since 2016, when Mitch Kupchak was still the team’s general manager. While they could make a salary-dumping trade to open a roster spot, it seems they’re comfortable with cutting a player if the buyout market is rich.
The NBA trade deadline closes at 12 p.m. PST today.
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