Before the 2019 NBA offseason officially began, there were a number of role players being linked as possibilities for the Los Angeles Lakers.
One of the more intriguing options was Marcus Morris, who spent the last two seasons with the Boston Celtics.
The team’s interest made sense as Morris can play both forward positions, is a solid defender who would bring toughness to the team, and can stretch the floor — hitting 37.5% of his three-pointers during the 2018-19 NBA season. Though the Lakers didn’t sign him, Morris ultimately became one of the more interesting stories of the offseason.
Originally agreeing to a deal with the San Antonio Spurs — who even traded away a player to make room for him — Morris would back out before it was official and ultimately sign with the New York Knicks. As this was happening, Morris parted ways with Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
This brought on obvious questions and reports began circulating that Paul talked Morris out of a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers as he didn’t want him to be rivaling James and Davis. In a recent interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Morris shot all of that down:
“All this stuff that (Paul) didn’t want me to go to the Clippers and didn’t want me to go against LeBron (James), that’s not true,” Morris said. “He never told me not to take the deal. For as long as I’ve known Rich — and that’s still someone I have love for and that’s still my guy — he has been great in terms of advice. He told me he wanted me to take the Clippers deal. He gave me his advice.”
What Morris says does make some sense as Paul gets a percentage of his deal. If the Clippers gave the more lucrative deal, Paul of course would want his client to take it as it would mean more money for both of them.
In the end, Morris did what he felt was best for him and his family. Agents can offer advice but it is always the player who has the final say and that was no different on this occasion.