Knicks Say Goodbye to Marcus Morris, But Welcome Back RJ Barrett vs Magic

Lauren Russell

As the clock struck three today the NBA hit the trade deadline. After three pm, the rumors that had been swirling for weeks came to a halt. 

About an hour earlier, the Knicks traded Marcus Morris to the Clippers for Moe Harkless, the Clippers 2020 first-round pick, their 2021 second-round pick (from the Pistons), the rights to Issuf Sanon, and a pick swap option with the Clippers 2021 first-round pick.

“We’ll definitely miss him. He’s been a great player on the court, a great leader. He was really helping us, helping the locker room, helping the young guys. But, this is a business and we just wish him the best of luck in his new team, and we keep moving forward,” Frank Ntilikina said of the now ex-Knick Morris pregame. Elfrid Payton had similar thoughts on Morris’ departure. “It’s tough, you build bonds with people.”

For interim head coach Mike Miller, the departure of Morris means next man up, “As we’ve gone through the course of our season, you know we’ve missed different guys, scenarios happen. It’s just next man up, you got to play."

As this Knicks team waves goodbye to a veteran, they also welcome the return of one of their core young players, RJ Barrett. According to the Knicks PR Twitter account, the rookie is available tonight. He is not in the starting lineup though; likely due to the fact he is coming back from an injury. Barrett has missed the past nine games with an ankle sprain. Before the injury, the rookie was averaging 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.

Speaking of the youth, another young player gets the starting nod tonight, Frank Ntilikina will be in the backcourt with Reggie Bullock. 

After two straight wins, the Knicks look to push the streak to three tonight vs the Magic.