The Boston Celtics officially introduced Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes this afternoon, two more of the team’s very busy off-season acquisitions. The former was traded for long-time Celtic Avery Bradley, and the latter signed in free agency for the RME. Both played together in Detroit last year and profile as immediate and meaningful contributors.
Baynes is a bruising, traditional center. Morris a barrel-chested combo forward. Each half of the duo expressed an enthusiasm for being able to play together again. Both are expected to add some much needed physicality to Boston’s roster. Morris indicated as much during his introductory conference call, describing his innate toughness.
Marcus Morris on bringing toughness: "I don't think that's a thing you work on. You just gotta have that type of attitude." #Celtics— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 19, 2017
Morris, it would appear, intends to bring his surly demeanor with him to Boston. He’ll have some high expectations to accompany it.
Marcus Morris on #Celtics: "This is the first time in my career I have an opportunity to compete for the Finals."— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 19, 2017
Baynes echoed Morris’s excitement for the team’s potential level of competitiveness in a separate introductory press conference, calling his choice to join the Celtics as, “First and foremost a basketball decision.”
He continued to praise the Celtics construction, saying, “Brad’s done a great job, and Danny’s done a great job of getting the right people here, and hopefully I’m a piece that helps bring that puzzle together.”
Even with Baynes and Morris in the fold, the Celtics are likely a fringe contender at best, but they certainly come with a simpler path to the Finals than the Pistons offered.
Morris’s versatility could play a key role in helping Boston pursue that goal, and while his attention will undoubtedly be focused on doing so, the Celtics’ recent history has provided him with some reason for excitement as well.
Marcus Morris: How could I be mad about going to the Celtics? Paul Pierce was my favorite player growing up. I actually reached out to him.— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 19, 2017
When asked what Pierce told him, Morris replied, “I’m going to love it.” For more on Baynes and Morris and their Detroit ties, check out Jeff Clark’s Q&A with Detroit Bad Boys on the incoming ex-Pistons or Alex Kungu’s look at Baynes’s fit with the Celtics.