On media day, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich discussed Marcus Morris and his decision to renege on his decision to sign with the Spurs. After backing out of his commitment, Morris signed with the New York Knicks.
Said Pop: “Let’s just say that was an unfortunate situation that was handled unprofessionally on a couple of different levels.”
Asked if Morris had reached out to the Spurs to talk about his decision to back out of his agreement to sign with San Antonio, Pop was succinct: “Not really.”
Reading between the lines, it’s safe to say Pop is unhappy with at least Morris and the Knicks organization. If Morris didn’t adequately attempt to explain his side of the story, it’s understandable why Pop and the Spurs wouldn’t be too pleased with him.
The issue between the Spurs and the Knicks is more difficult to pin down. There are rumors that the Knicks believe that the Spurs “operated outside of accepted NBA norms” when Kristaps Porzingis was on the trade market back in 2017. Whatever New York’s beef is with San Antonio, it was enough for them to have no second thoughts about offering Morris a contract even though he had committed to the Spurs.
Pop may have also been talking about Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represented Morris at the time of the reneging. However, considering that the Spurs ended up signing Trey Lyles, another Klutch Sports client, shortly after Morris signed with the Knicks, that’s probably not the case.
Mourning Davis Bertans
Regarding the Morris fiasco, Pop sounded most frustrated about needlessly losing Davis Bertans in a deal with the Washington Wizards. After Morris agreed to sign with the Spurs, San Antonio traded away Bertans in order to open up the necessary salary cap room.
“We made that move to make the signing the we did,” explained Pop. “And got blindsided.”
Bertans averaged 8.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.5 minutes per game last season. The 26-year-old shot 42.9% on 4.4 three-point attempts per game.
“Davis was a special player, as we all know,” Pop continued. “He was young and getting better and better. We hated losing him.”
What Marcus Morris Has To Say
Morris hasn’t been too talkative since spurning San Antonio, although he admitted during Knicks media day that his free agency “didn’t go as planned.”
“I kind of committed very early, [earlier] than I wanted to,” said Morris. “New York became involved and I saw opportunity, East Coast, the Mecca, [I’m] from Philly.”
Spurs fans won’t have to wait long to voice their opinion about Morris. The Knicks play the Spurs in San Antonio in the first game of the 2019-20 regular season on Oct. 23.