On his weekly visit with The SportsHub’s Toucher & Rich, Danny Ainge cleared the air on Marcus Morris’ claim that he did not receive interest from the Celtics to re-sign the eight-year vet:
Danny Ainge just said on @Toucherandrich that he did talk to Marcus Morris after the season, but once Boston was locked in on Kemba Walker, they didn't make an offer. Ainge also said they offered Morris a three-year extension before last year, but Morris chose to play it out.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 7, 2019
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the max extension that Boston could have offered Mook back in 2018 was a three-year, $34.3 million deal. Morris was wrapping up a 4-year, $20 million contract that he had signed with Phoenix and played half in Detroit.
Morris decided to play the season out, enter the summer as a free agency, and received not one, but two bags. Initially, he verbally agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Spurs. San Antonio had dealt Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards to make room. Morris later reneged on the agreement when the Knicks offered him $15 million for 2019-2020.
Before their first reunion at Madison Square Garden earlier in the season, Morris told The Globe’s Gary Washburn that he was disappointed that the Celtics didn’t reach out to him on a return to Boston.
Marcus Morris on whether he get any interest to return to the #Celtics: "Surprisingly no. I didn’t get a phone call, I didn’t get anything from Boston. My two years there were special. I thought I did a lot for the team. I thought at least deserved a phone call." #Knicks— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) October 26, 2019
A week later, Morris promptly had his “I deserved a phone call” revenge game on his return to TD Garden. With the Celtics chock full of talent at the wing position, it’s unclear how Morris would fit in the rotation now. He’s still a plus defender and can stretch the floor as a three-level scorer, but money aside, Morris is a luxury that the Celtics can’t afford now. Boston has embraced a youth movement and needs minutes for Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and Carsen Edwards and further down the road, Romeo Langford. But like Mook told us here at CelticsBlog, there’s always playing time for a “versatile bully.”