Marcus Morris continues to increase his trade value with each passing day, which is good news for the New York Knicks.
The veteran forward — who is the Knicks’ most prominent trade chip before the NBA’s Feb. 7 deadline — dropped a career-high 38 points on Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Clippers.
There were scouts aplenty in attendance at Staples Center — a normal sight when Morris is on the floor, as the 30-year-old nearly willed the Knicks to an upset victory.
The performance left quite an impression on the Clippers — who, along with their LA rival Lakers, are reportedly interested in acquiring the forward, per Colin Martin and Ian Begley of SNY.
The Philadelphia 76ers have also been linked to Morris, per the New York Post’s Marc Berman.
While the Knicks have made noticeable improvements since Mike Miller took over as interim head coach for David Fizdale, this is still a franchise that has to do some sizable roster overhauling to become a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
With Morris signed to a one-year deal, trading him to a contender before the deadline would be able to yield draft capital to further build the future upon.
The initial belief around the league is that Morris could fetch the Knicks a first-round pick over the summer. They already have a first-round pick in the 2020 draft and two more in 2021.
Morris is enjoying a career season with the Knicks after signing a $15 million pact in July. In 33 appearances, he’s averaging 19.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
While he’s languishing on one of the bottom-feeders of the East, Morris has continuously made it known that he does not want to leave the Knicks.
“That isn’t going to change,” Morris said following the Clippers game (h/t Martin, Begley). “I love our team. I love our future. I just want to be a part of helping these young guys grow into the great players they’re going to be.”
Whether Morris is a fit for the future on a roster that will only get younger remains to be seen, but his monster season could price him out of the Knicks’ range should they opt not to pursue a trade.