The Knicks are trading forward Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team trade that netted the Knicks Moe Harkless and a 2020 first-round draft pick, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Isaiah Thomas is on his way to Los Angeles from the Washington Wizards while they get Jerome Robinson from the Clippers.
The Clippers’ package beat out the interest of their crosstown rivals, the Lakers, who were unwilling to part ways with Kyle Kuzma.
Morris, who was on a team-friendly one-year deal, was having the best season of his career with the hapless Knicks. In 43 games, he posted 19.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as New York’s best player this season.
He provided a rare bright spot in a season that has once again been fueled by dysfunction.
Tuesday saw the Knicks fire president Steve Mills only to replace him with former agent Leon Rose on Thursday. It was the lastest personnel change that also featured the firing of head coach David Fizdale in December.
Entering Thursday night’s game with the Orlando Magic, the Knicks owned the Eastern Conference’s third-worst record at 15-36.
Dealing Morris was the only option for the Knicks regardless of who was in charge. For a team that needs to commit to one fashion of rebuilding, the only question was whether he would be swapped for further draft capital or in a package to get an established NBA talent.
Rumors swirled in recent days that the Knicks were in on Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell. But he was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins earlier on Thursday.
Receiving Harkless and a first-round pick, though, answers that question. The 26-year-old Queens native who played his college ball at St. John’s is a free agent following this season. He’s averaging 5.5 points and four rebounds per game this season.
That first-round pick is the headliner of the deal as New York continues to build its draft capital — which already has plenty of assets heading into this offseason.
The Knicks owned each of their first-round picks in each of the next four drafts along with a pair of Dallas Mavericks first-round picks acquired in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. With the Clippers’ selection now have two first-rounders in each of the next two drafts.