The Clippers were once again very quietly making moves right up to the trade deadline. They had been linked with All Star caliber players like Jrue Holiday and Andre Drummond all season. However, on par with how this front office always moves, they made very quiet and subtle moves to improve their overall roster. Instead of emptying the bank for yet another super star, the Clippers made small deals for, Marcus Morris, who had been linked to the team for a while now, as well as veteran point guard, Isaiah Thomas. While Thomas will likely never return to All Star form, his veteran leadership and scoring will be instantly valuable to this Clippers team with championship aspirations.
Upgrading the Wings
The Clippers have been an injury plagued team all season. They have only played a handful of games with their full rotation available this season. That has not kept them from holding down the second best record in the West. While there are few glaring weaknesses in this team, a shooting forward has to be towards the top of the list. Previous starting power forward Maurice Harkless had a few scoring outbursts, but his prowess came on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, his lack of shooting was often a liability when his defender was able to help in on the Clippers’ stars. The other PF on the roster, JaMychal Green, has been streaky throughout the season when healthy. The addition of Marcus Morris almost instantly plugs this hole.
Will Marcus Morris fit his New Role?
Morris is shooting nearly 44% from behind the three point line on the season. He’s also averaging a career high 19.6 points per game. This is in large part due to him being the Knicks’ number one scoring option. With the Clippers, Morris will fill one of two roles. He could start alongside the Clippers’ star duo at the power forward position to help space the floor offensively. The alternative would be coming off the bench as an added punch to the already lethal Lou Williams – Montrezl Harrell pick and roll. With stars as versatile as Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the starting five could include Landry Shamet, Marcus Morris, JaMychal Green, or Patrick Patterson depending on their matchup any given night. Morris’ versatility between both forward spots, along with his consistent perimeter shooting, should allow a smooth transition into his new team.
Knicks Accumulating Draft Stock
Clippers Receive: Marcus Morris, Isaiah Thomas
Knicks Receive: Maurice Harkless, 2020 first-round pick via LA Clippers
Wizards Receive: Jerome Robinson