Just minutes before the NBA trade deadline, another three-team blockbuster deal went down.
The Los Angeles Clippers, who entered Thursday second in the Western Conference behind the Los Angeles Lakers, picked up Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks and Isaiah Thomas from the Washington Wizards to bolster their playoff run.
In return, the Clippers sent Jerome Robinson to the Wizards and Moe Harkless and a 2020 first-round pick to New York. A 2023 second-round pick (via the Detroit Pistons) also goes to the Knicks.
ESPN was first to report the news.
Morris will give the Clippers the shooting they’ve needed, and he also gives them valuable playoff experience.
Morris signed a one-year contract worth $15 million last summer, reneging on an agreement with the San Antonio Spurs to sign with the Knicks.
Morris was the Knicks’ best and most consistent player this season, averaging 19.6 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from the perimeter.
But aside from his production on the court, Morris was a respected leader in the locker room, especially for the team’s many young players.
“He’s been incredible,” Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller said Monday. “And the big thing I’m going to tell you, we’re seeing all the stuff that he does when the lights are on. The stuff that he’s doing behind the scenes, in the locker room, with our young players, the practices, having guys do the workouts that he’s doing, have been unbelievable. He’s had such an impact on those guys. He, as we say, has been a great veteran for these young guys to teach them the way to be successful and build a career.”
Morris called a players only meeting after the Knicks got off to a 4-18 start to preach accountability and try to iron out the team’s issues.
That was just hours before former head coach David Fizdale was fired.
Morris said all season that he wanted to remain with the Knicks to see the season through and continue to help the young players.
But holding onto Morris wouldn’t have made sense from the Knicks’ perspective.
Harkless, who’s on an expiring contract, is averaging 5.5 points per game and shooting 51.6 percent, 37 percent from the perimeter.
Harkless, 26, is a Queens native and St. John’s University product. He was the 15th overall draft pick in 2012.
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