Spurs Sign Marcus Morris: How San Antonio Pulled It Off

Marcus Morris has agreed to join the San Antonio Spurs on a two-year deal worth approximately $20 million. The free agent forward formerly of the Boston Celtics was regarded as arguably the best player still available on the market after Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers.

To make the signing of Morris possible, the Spurs had to jump through a number of hoops. First, San Antonio traded Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards in exchange for a trade exception.

Secondly, the Spurs used the trade exception from the Bertans trade to complete a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets for DeMarre Carroll. Due to sign-and-trade transactions requiring a three-year contract, the Spurs agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with Carroll. Originally, San Antonio had agreed to sign Carroll to a two-year, $12-13 million contract using the mid-level exception (MLE).

With the newly available MLE, the Spurs finished the flurry of moves by signing Morris using the MLE to a two-year contract. The second year of the deal is reportedly a player option for Morris.

How Marcus Morris Will Fit On The Spurs

Morris is likely to step into a starting role with the Spurs at power forward between DeMar DeRozan at small forward and LaMarcus Aldridge at center. With Bertans gone, the primary reserves at the forward spots will likely be Rudy Gay and Carroll.

Going into the free agent frenzy, I thought Morris was the ideal signing if the Spurs wanted to go with the player with the most realized talent. While there have been questions regarding Morris’ character over the years, his sheer talent has never been doubted.

By adding Morris, the Spurs have successfully infused their starting lineup with more three-point shooting and more scoring. Per 100 possessions with the Celtics last season, Morris shot 9.0 threes and scored 24.1 points. He’s also a physical defender who has had success against both small forwards and power forwards.

With many other teams in the Western Conference bolstering their rosters, the Spurs didn’t want to be left behind. This moves gives San Antonio a puncher’s chance going forward.