LA Clippers: Grading the Marcus Morris trade after the dust settles

LA Clippesr Patrick Beverley (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippesr Patrick Beverley (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Shortly before the trade deadline, the LA Clippers were able to acquire Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks. Here’s how the deal grades.

Marcus Morris has been on the LA Clippers radar dating all the way back to this summer when they attempted to sign him in free agency. Several months later, they finally got their man.

The New York Knicks sent Morris to LA in exchange for Maurice Harkless and a 2020 first-round pick. As part of the three-team deal, the Clippers also received Isaiah Thomas from the Wizards while sending them Jerome Robinson.

With Thomas getting bought out by the Clippers, we can really just look at this deal as the aforementioned pieces all for Morris.

On the court

On the surface level, we are getting a big upgrade in scoring. While Morris’ current career-high average 19.6 points will obviously go down, he is attempting 6.1 three-pointers per game which is a huge bump up from Harkless. The spacing he provides will open up the court even more for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

If either of those two is out of a game, he is capable of stepping up and helping to make up for the loss of points. The offense is the big upgrade in that regard. His only issue is that he does tend to get a little isolation-y, so the team will need to reign that in with better options on the court beside him.

Defensively, the Clippers lose a little. Harkless has a better defensive rating, pulls down more rebounds, gets more steals, and blocks more shots. Still, this seems like a move centered around stopping LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

If the Clippers do end up having to go through the Lakers to reach the NBA Finals (which seems likely), having more bodies to throw towards LeBron is never a bad thing. Morris could also help against Giannis Antetokounmpo should both the Bucks and Clippers reach the Finals.


The Clippers get, as Morris himself put it, another dog. He has shown time in and time out that he’s not afraid of anyone in the league even if it is to a fault. There have been some issues with him including hitting a player with a ball in preseason and his recent “women” comments. While those may not be isolated incidents, hopefully being around this group will calm him down and have him focused on winning a championship.

Another downside is that Morris is on an expiring contract so there is no guarantee he is with the team beyond the rest of this season.


B+. Morris will help a ton offensively but is a slight drop-off defensively. His attitude will be the biggest question mark but playing for a contender could help his focus.. F. LA Clippers. MARCUS MORRIS

The Clippers got the player they wanted after all this time while not giving up much that matters in their pursuit of a championship. Morris will help offensively, isn’t a huge drop-off defensively, and can help on nights where the team’s stars have to rest.

Iguodala heading east is best-case. dark. Next

Make sure to check back here for all your LA Clippers’ news and rumors as the team finishes filling out their roster in the buyout market.