Knicks Trade Marcus Morris To Clippers In Three-Team Deal

Moe Harkless Headlines Package Heading To New York

Alec Gearty
February 06, 2020 - 2:19 pm

The New York Knicks have traded Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

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New York acquired small forward Moe Harkless and a 2020 first round pick in a three-team deal involving the Clippers and Washington Wizards, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Knicks also recieved the rights to Ukranian point guard Issuf Sanon, who was a second round pick in 2019. 

Morris had expressed his desire to remain with the organization. He was in the midst of a superb first season in New York, leading the Knicks with a career-high 19.6 points per game. For a moment the feeling was mutual as the Knicks were reportedly "hell-bent" on keeping the small forward, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

"I love our team," Morris told The Athletic in January. "I love our future. I just want to be a part of helping our young guys grow and grow out to be the great players they're gonna be. 

"That was the reason why I made the decision to come here, going back on the decisions I made, along with a lot of other things, but I'm here. I enjoy this organization. I enjoy the players they got here and I want to be here long-term."

Morris' preference was to remain in New York, but he quickly became a viable trade deadline candidate for a handful of contending playoff teams. Morris, who signed a one-year deal with New York, was set to become an unrestricted free agent following the season.

The Knicks initially targeted 22-year-old Landry Shamet in negotiations, according to SNY's Ian Begley. Los Angeles, however, was keen on keeping Shamet while parting ways with Harkless.

Harkless is averaging 5.5 points with Los Angeles after spending the past four seasons with the Trailblazers. The St. John's University product will become an unrestricted free agent following this season, where he'll earn $11 million. 

Multiple reports suggested power forward Mfiondu Kabengele and small forward Terrence Mann were to become involved in the package heading to the Knicks, but that never came to fruition. Instead, the Wizards inserted themselves in the discussions.  

Washington acquired Jerome Robinson from the Clippers. Along with Morris, the Clippers added Isaiah Thomas from the Wizards. 

The Knicks were also rumored to have interest in the Lakers' Kyle Kuzma. According to Charania, the Lakers removed Kuzma from trade discussions as both teams approached the deadline. 

New York is certainly built for the future as they attempt to accelerate its rebuild process. They have seven first round picks within the next four years following Thursday's trade. They'll have the option to swap picks with the Clippers in 2021 to go along with another second round pick already involved in the deal.