Marcus Morris
Marcus Morris
30-Year-Old ForwardF
Los Angeles Clippers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
He might not have received a lot of headlines, but Morris was a key part of the Celtics' rotation last season. Although he didn't provide many defensive stats, he averaged 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 three-pointers across 28 minutes a game. He was excellent from the charity stripe, converting 84.4 percent of his attempts. With the Celtics choosing to move on, Morris now finds himself as a member of the Knicks. This isn't exactly an ideal situation with the likes of Kevin Knox, Wayne Ellington, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson all competing with him for playing time at the two forward spots. The Knicks also had one of the most inconsistent rotations in the league last year, so Morris' playing time could fluctuate dramatically. Barring injuries to some of his teammates, it's difficult to envision a path for Morris carving out significant fantasy value. If anything, this might be the season to only consider selecting him in deeper leagues. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Knicks in July of 2019. Traded to the Clippers in February of 2020.
Strong showing against former team
FLos Angeles Clippers
February 27, 2020
Morris racked up 18 points (6-14 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, three assists and one block in 30 minutes during Wednesday's 102-92 win at Phoenix.
ANALYSIS
Morris hasn't missed a beat since joining the Clippers and quickly secured a starting role in Doc Rivers' scheme. The veteran power forward, who was acquired from the Knicks via trade earlier this month, has started all six of his games with the Clippers so far and has scored in double digits in five of those contests. He is averaging 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game as a Clipper thus far.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
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2013
2012
2011
Last year’s arrival of Morris was met with mixed reviews in Boston, given that it meant parting ways with Avery Bradley. But Morris was an ideal complement to fellow-bigs Al Horford and Aron Baynes, allowing Stevens to mix and match lineups based on opponent weaknesses. Fantasy-wise, leaving Detroit’s thin roster meant a slight dip in minutes for Morris. But the reduced playing time also led to better shooting percentages, including a 37 percent success rate from behind the arc. The return of a healthy Gordon Hayward means Morris will almost certainly shift to the bench, and his production is likely to suffer, as a result. Morris can still be a factor in deeper leagues, but his contributions in points and rebounds may not be significant enough to warrant high ownership in some standard formats.
Last year in Detroit, Morris was a starter in each of the 79 games in which he appeared. That's unlikely to happen this year in Boston. This summer, the Celtics acquired Morris in exchange for Avery Bradley as Boston cleared salary space for free agent star Gordon Hayward. The good news for Morris is that Boston is in desperate need of size and rebounding. The bad news is that Morris averaged a paltry 4.6 rebounds per game last year despite playing a high 33 minutes per game. The Celtics need rebounding, but are unlikely to get it from Morris. Coach Brad Stevens is happy to go with a small ball, positionless basketball approach that will probably lead to rookie Jayson Tatum seeing minutes at power forward. On the positive, the three-for-one deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston should free up minutes for Morris. Last year, Morris attempted 4.5 three-point attempts per game, but only shot 33 percent from behind the arc. In fact, Morris’ three point shooting has gotten progressively worse since the 38% he shot in 2013-14. Boston loves to shoot threes, so expect Stevens to encourage Morris to keep hoisting treys. But if Morris’ minutes decline, he’ll be hard pressed to continue his two-year trend of 14.0 points per game. Stevens will most likely experiment with lineups throughout the first half of the season. Morris’ role may not be defined until after the All-Star break.
Though he expressed frustration last summer when he was traded away from the Suns (and brother Markieff) after he had agreed to a contract extension with Phoenix less than a year earlier, Morris quickly put any dissatisfaction of landing with the Pistons aside and embraced a full-time starting role for the first time in his career. Along with starting all 80 games in which he played, Morris benefited greatly from the Pistons' lack of depth on the wing, as coach Stan Van Gundy handed him 35.7 minutes per game, good for 10th-most in the NBA and a jump of 10 minutes per game from what he received in 2014-15. Morris used the uptick in playing time to post several career highs, with the 27-year-old averaging 14.1 points (on 43.4% shooting), 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 three-pointers and 0.8 steals per game. Morris is at his best as a mid-range shooter, but his improved proficiency from long range over the last two seasons (36%) has helped upgrade his fantasy outlook. Van Gundy indicated he planned on finding more run for his wing reserves in 2016-17, but Morris seems like a safe bet to continue receiving 30-plus minutes per night. His ability to move between both forward spots and chip in across a few different categories makes him quality roster filler in most fantasy leagues.
Marcus and his twin Markieff Morris signed joint four-year extensions with the Suns last season, expecting to play together for the long haul, but in the Suns' attempt to sign LaMarcus Aldridge this summer, they sent Marcus to the Pistons in what was essentially just a salsry dump to clear cap space. The Pistons, on the other hand, were thrilled to receive Marcus Morris in a trade that allowed them to simply absorb his contract into their cap space. Marcus is the projected starter at small forward, but after rookie Stanley Johnson went buckwild at the Orland Summer League, Morris might get pushed to the bench. It's also possible that even more lineup shuffling could happen, and the Pistons could decide to start Morris and Johnson at the forward spots by pushing presumed starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova to a bench role. Through 81 games with the Suns last season, Morris averaged 10.4 points, 1.4 three-pointers, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 25 minutes per game while shooting 43 percent from the field, 36 percent from three, and 63 percent from the line. He doesn't take many shots from the line, which is probably why he's so erratic there despite being a capable three-point shooter. Morris was a much better shooter off the bench last season (39% 3Pt), playing against other second-string players, than he was in 35 games as a starter (32% 3Pt), and he's been a streaky player throughout his career, so don't be surprised if he gets slotted into a bench role this season and ends up playing a 3-and-D role behind Johnson and Ilysaova at the two forward spots. Morris is intriguing this season, but most players are what they are, and he has been a bench player for the majority of his career, so it's kind of hard to see him growing into much more than that unless he becomes more consistent this season.
One half of the Morris duo enters his fourth season in the NBA and second full season in Phoenix. In 2013-14, Morris averaged 9.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 steals in 22 minutes per game. He shot 44 percent from the field on 7.9 attempts, 38 percent from three on 3.2 attempts, and 76 percent from the free-throw line on 1.9 attempts per game. While not a major fantasy factor, Morris certainly carved out a nice role with the Suns last season and contributed to the team's success in the difficult Western Conference. On the fantasy side of things, he doesn't offer much value outside of his ability to hit three-pointers as a power forward. Given Channing Frye's departure, Morris will have a chance to fill his stretch-four role, though he has competition from his brother Markieff Morris and Anthony Tolliver, and Marcus is a bit undersized for the task. As is, Morris is only a faint blip on the fantasy radar in most formats.
Life in Phoenix did not treat Morris kindly. Coming over in a mid-February trade from Houston, he was not granted consistent playing time. When he was on the floor, the former Jayhawk shot the ball poorly. He averaged 7.7 points in 20 minutes last year and made 56 percent from the stripe. Morris must outperform his brother from long range to find minutes.
Last year's first-rounder, Morris didn't make a significant impact, as Parsons beat him out for minutes at the three, and Morris probably doesn't project as a regular four. This year, Morris will have to hold off Royce White and Terrence Jones even to secure a backup role.
The 14th overall pick in this year's draft, Morris is a capable scorer with a fluid jump shot who could contribute at the NBA level out of the gate - at least on the offensive end. Morris needs to add more strength and improve his defense to get consistent minutes, however. For now, we'd expect Chase Budinger to see most of the team's minutes at the three, but Budinger's hardly an established player, so the door is open for Morris to get more run.
More Fantasy News
Scores 13 points Monday
FLos Angeles Clippers
February 24, 2020
Morris totaled 13 points (5-11 Fg, 2-5 3Pt, 1-2 FT), two assists, one rebound, one steal and one block in 24 minutes during Monday's 124-97 victory over Memphis.
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Solid in loss
FLos Angeles Clippers
February 13, 2020
Morris collected 10 points (4-8 FG, 2-6 3Pt), eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 41 minutes in Thursday's 141-133 double overtime loss versus the Celtics.
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Modest numbers in big minutes
FLos Angeles Clippers
February 12, 2020
Morris posted 13 points (5-12 FG, 3-6 3Pt), five rebounds, one assist and one block across 35 minutes Tuesday in the Clippers' 110-103 loss to the 76ers.
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Scores 10 points in debut
FLos Angeles Clippers
February 10, 2020
Morris ended with 10 points (5-12 FG, 0-4 3Pt), four rebounds, three steals and two assists in 22 minutes during Sunday's 133-92 victory over the Cavaliers.
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Debuting Sunday
FLos Angeles Clippers
February 9, 2020
Morris doesn't appear on the Clippers' injury report and should be available to make his team debut Sunday versus the Cavaliers, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reports.
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