Teams will be able trade away free agents they signed this past summer starting in mid-December and there will be plenty of big names ready to change locales.
The Knicks will be big sellers this winter as they currently sit with a 2-9 record and look poised to obtain the worst record in the NBA this season. New York boss Steve Mills will be looking to grab every and any asset available.
At the front of the line will be forward Marcus Morris, who is by all accounts a “win now” type player. Morris fell through the cracks of free agency this past summer when there was pure chaos, but would be a key role player for any team in contention this coming spring.
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Teams expected to be interested in making upgrades to their bench at the deadline are the Celtics, Sixers and surprisingly the Chicago Bulls.
Morris would welcome a return to the Celtics, as he said in his return to Boston last month.
“Boston has a special place in my heart,” Morris told CLNS. “I didn’t get a phone call, I didn’t get anything from Boston, so it was surprising. My two years there was special.”
Right now the Celtics look like they don’t need Morris, but Boston is already feeling the hurt on the injury front and could be looking to add depth in the next few months.
Morris was particularly close with Celtics star Jayson Tatum during his tenure in Boston, and Tatum’s growth may be the biggest key to Boston once again becoming a true title contender.
The Sixers will also be looking to add a veteran or two ahead of the deadline or in the buyout market. Morris is a Philly native, and would give the Sixers some added toughness.
Lastly, the Bulls will be a team to watch when it comes to trying to land tough veteran players. Chicago is off to a slow start at 4-7, but unlike the Knicks they intend to compete for a playoff spot this season. The Bulls have the second youngest roster in the league (24.8 years old average) and could stand to have a veteran presence in the locker room for leadership purposes.
The good news for any team looking to land Morris is that he’s on a one-year deal and the Knicks won’t be asking for much in return.