Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Morris will be dealt in a three-team trade that will send him and Isaiah Thomas to the Clippers, Moe Harkless and a 2020 first-round pick to the Knicks and Jerome Robinson to the Washington Wizards.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the agreement.
Morris, 30, has been one of the rare bright spots for the Knicks this season, averaging 19.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from three. His ability to create his own shot and also space the floor as a stretch-4 made him an intriguing potential addition for contending teams on the market.
The Clippers ultimately pounced.
The Knicks were always likely to be sellers after starting the season 15-36, putting them on course for their seventh straight losing season. It’s wise for them to dump their veterans on expiring contracts for draft assets, giving the young core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina a chance to grow.
In fact, one could argue the Knicks should have done that in the first place. Instead, they had a bizarre offseason after missing out on top-tier free agents, signing a misfit collection of veterans like Morris, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Elfrid Payton.
The Knicks’ decision to add four power forwards was particularly curious with Knox already on the roster. Barrett also had to play minutes at point guard—clearly out of position and out of his depth—with Payton sidelined by an injury. Morris turned out to be a bright spot, but his signing was another indication that New York didn’t have a plan in place to best develop its young prospects.
The Clippers, meanwhile, already had an excellent bench, highlighted by Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Morris gives them another reserve capable of getting his own shot, and they now arguably boast the league’s best depth.
He also gives L.A. a nice starting option when Kawhi Leonard sits for injury-management purposes. This deal is a classic “the rich get richer” addition, even if it came at a premium price.