The Clippers made sure it would be worth Marcus Morris Sr.’s while to stick around, offering the hard-nosed 31-year-old several years of security, with an appreciative four-year, $64 million contract offer. Morris agreed to the deal, reported initially by ESPN, on Friday, the first day of the NBA’s free agency negotiating window, tweeting out his reaction on Twitter: “Run it back!”

The Clippers had long coveted Morris before trading for him at the deadline in February. It took him some time to adjust to a less substantive offensive role in L.A, where he’s playing beside All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but the 6-foot-8 forward found a rhythm in the playoffs, when he was the Clippers’ fourth-highest playoff scorer. He averaged 11.8 points per game on 50.5 percent shooting, including making 47.5 percent of the 4.5 3-pointers he attempted per game.

A strong, versatile forward capable of defending high-scoring wings and scoring reliably himself, Morris averaged 19.6 points per game and shot 43.9 percent from 3-point range for the New York Knicks. But in 19 regular-season games with the Clippers, his sixth team in nine seasons, he averaged 10.1 points and shot just 31 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season as he adjusted to his new role.

The Denver Nuggets – who just ended the Clippers’ season early after clawing back from a 3-1 series deficit in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs – reportedly were among the teams that wanted to pursue Morris in free agency, but he appears set on trying to rectify last season’s disappointing conclusion, returning to the fold along with Patrick Patterson, who agreed to a one-year deal to return.

Backup center Montrezl Harrell decided to go a different direction, agreeing to a two-year deal with the rival Lakers. Forward JaMychal Green then reportedly agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Nuggets late Friday night, leaving guard Reggie Jackson as the Clippers’ only remaining free agent.

With Morris’ deal and Harrell’s departure, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton suggested the most the Clippers could afford to pay Green while using the full $9.3 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception and staying legal was about $4.3 million – less than the $5 million he had just declined.


By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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