Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
As of Thursday afternoon, the Knicks believed that obtaining Marcus Morris as a free agent and re-working Reggie Bullock's deal was a likely scenario, per SNY sources.
There remains mutual interest between the Knicks and Bullock to negotiate a new deal after a medical issue hampered their original agreement, sources said.
Bullock's agent, David Bauman, and the Knicks continue to work together on a new agreement for the six-year veteran.
The medical issue that caused a hiccup is unclear, but Bullock has dealt with plantar fasciitis in the past. The Knicks originally agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with Bullock that contained a player option in Year 2.
The re-worked deal could lead to New York landing Marcus Morris in an unusual sequence of events.
The Knicks have long been enamored by Morris, according to a source, and would have high interest if the forward reneged on his agreement with San Antonio. ESPN reported that Morris is contemplating backing out of his Spurs agreement and would have interest in New York. Yahoo reported that the Knicks have made an offer of $15 million over one season to Morris. That's more valuable than the two-year, $20 million agreement Morris had with San Antonio.
It's not unheard of for a player to renege on a verbal agreement during free agency, but this situation is complex because San Antonio traded forward Davis Bertans to Washington and re-worked an agreement with DeMarre Carroll to sign Morris.
On Thursday morning members of the organization felt confident about the prospect of landing Morris, per people familiar with the matter.
Members of the organization feel Morris can give New York a veteran presence and toughness to go along with averages of 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in 75 games (53 starts). Morris shot a career-best 44.7 percent from the field as well. The Knicks see Morris as a strong influence on their younger core, which includes RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier.
After missing out on Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, the Knicks added Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Elfrid Payton in free agency.
If they re-work their agreement with Bullock, it could open up $14.8 million in cap space, per ESPN's Bobby Marks. That would leave the $4.7 million exception or veteran's minimum for Bullock.