Ex-Celtics Forward Reportedly Free To Join Playoff Contender As Free Agent

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Marcus Morris Sr. is back on the free agency market, giving the 13-year NBA veteran a chance to hop aboard a playoff-contending team before the end of the regular season.

Morris reportedly agreed to a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Spurs initially acquired Morris from the Philadelphia 76ers, but the 34-year-old never suited up for San Antonio, and in the final year of a $64 million contract signed in 2020, Morris will have the chance to compete in the playoffs.

That cuts down the list, though it still provides Morris with a decent handful of suitor options to consider. The Boston Celtics, who Morris spent two previous seasons with, however, are not one of them. Since Boston’s financial situation limits the organization from signing anyone making over the non-taxpayer minimum of $12.4 million, Morris is off the table as a candidate.

Morris is also unable to sign with the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks since those teams are also above the first or second tax aprons.

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Yet, that still opens the door for other potential soon-to-be playoff rivals to sign Morris before the Celtics officially embark on their postseason quest.

In 37 games with the Sixers this season, Morris averaged 6.7 points and 2.9 rebounds, shooting 43.9% from the field and playing primarily off the bench. With size, athleticism, toughness and the ability to be vocal and energize teammates, Morris has plenty to offer teams heading for a deep playoff run.

With the Celtics, that’s exactly what Morris provided. He stepped up after then-team leaders Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward went down with season-ending injuries in 2018-19, and was best known for hitting 76ers star Joel Embiid with a taunting 3-0 hand gesture in Game 4 of the 2018 Eastern Conference semifinals.

“Everybody knows we have a great relationship,” ex-Celtics teammate Jayson Tatum said in 2019, per MassLive. “He’s like a big brother to me.”

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Tatum added: “That’s my man.”

Morris is a no-nonsense, but aggressive type of player who can provide head coaches with leadership and rotation flexibility. It benefitted the Celtics a few years back, though the team fell short in a thrilling seven-game conference final series to the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

While the door isn’t open for Morris to sport Boston threads for another run at Banner 18, the two sides can very well collide, only this time, as foes.

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