It was clear when the Clippers traded a first-round pick for Marcus Morris Sr. at the 2020 trade deadline that they weren’t doing that just for a rental. After originally expressing interest in Morris during the 2019 offseason, the Clippers wanted a long-term commitment.
They got it.
Per reporting from ESPN, confirmed by the L.A. Times, Morris is returning to the Clippers on a four-year deal for $64 million. Morris was on a one-year, $15 million contract in 2019-20, and the Clippers had the ability to pay him up to $18 million on his next deal without using their cap space. An annual value of $16 million per year seems like a good compromise.
Deal: 4 years, $64M, per source. https://t.co/w8keZqg6hE— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
The return of Morris means that the Clippers have their starting lineup from the end of the season fully intact with Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Ivica Zubac still under contract. That group outscored opponents by 23.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass, an absolutely outstanding figure. The backup frontcourt rotation is still a little thin with the departure of Montrezl Harrell, but perhaps new head coach Ty Lue will lean into Morris as a small-ball five in occasional situations.
Morris changed his agent right before the start of free agency, and it appears to have paid off handsomely for him. There are still dominoes left to fall as the offseason proceeds, but the Clippers have at least retained a productive starting unit. Now they just have to fill in their roster on the margins.