We now move onto the Celtics 2 Unrestricted Free Agents as I continue to go through each and every nook and cranny before the off-season officially begins.
If you missed Parts 1-3 you can find each below:
- Part 1: Kyrie Irving’s Free Agency
- Part 2: The Rest Of The Player Options (Al/Baynes)
- Part 3: Theis and The Terry Rozier Conundrum
Coming into this off-season the Celtics have two players who are unrestricted free agents and therefore are firmly on the market, Marcus Morris Sr. and Brad Wanamaker.
To start, we’ll delve into the 29 year old rookie who appeared in 36 games this season and averaged 3.9/1.1/1.6 on 47.6/41.0/85.7 shooting splits in 9.5 minutes per game. After leaving 3.8 million dollars on the table overseas to play for the Celtics this season, Wanamaker is back on the market. While his minutes weren’t consistent, he showed the NBA that he can hang in this league and that he deserves a job somewhere.
In short stints he showed a quality shooting touch, toughness, discipline (only 19 turnovers compared to 56 assists) and the ability to play his game no matter what his role is. As we saw from Terry Rozier this season, that isn’t always an easy thing to do. Factor in how he took less to come to Boston and that task becomes even more arduous on a day to day basis. Nonetheless, Wanamaker didn’t complain, and he made his mark when given an opportunity. That matters in this league and it’s the difference between fringe-NBA players and quality rotation pieces off the bench. While I don’t think a return to Boston is necessarily in the cards, I’d be a bit surprised if he didn’t find his way onto another NBA team. I’d expect to see Wanamaker in a backup role on a lower to mid level team next season.
Flipping the switch over to one of our favorite dogs this team has had to offer the passed two seasons, we have Marcus Morris. Mook debatably had the best season of his career and was one of the only Celtics to show up in the playoffs. Even though it was his best season as a whole, there were two versions of Marcus Morris that we saw for long stretches this season.
First 38 Games (Best Player Ever Marcus Morris):
Last 37 Games (Please Stop Shooting Marcus Morris):
Playoffs (Best Player Ever Marcus Morris…Again):
It was honestly a charade of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Mook’s shooting touch was either comparable to a flamethrower, or the iceberg that hit the Titanic (please don’t tell Marcus Morris that, he might beat me up). He had very pronounced stretches of each and it’s something to think about when considering re-signing him. What tips the balance of pros and cons is his playoff performances. He was great last playoffs and he followed that up with another strong showing in 2019. Couple his hot shooting touch with the fire he brings every night and you’ll see somebody that makes sense to bring back (given the circumstances).
It starts out as a question of money and while he’s one of the tougher players to gauge in terms of a potential contract, I’d guess he gets a deal for 3 years worth anywhere between 30-40 million dollars. Unless somebody wants to overpay for him (they might), I’d expect he and the Celtics to hash out a deal. He was far too important to this team to let walk and he’s one of those guys who can help set a winning culture due to his effort/attitude day in and day out. He doesn’t care who he’s up against and he’s always somebody who will lay it all out on the line. Then, as a few added bonuses, he will scream directly in Tristan Thompson’s face if need be, slap a refs ass, or incite a little bit of violence for shits and giggles to get the crowd going.
AKA…he’s a king.
The only scenario where I see Morris walking is if somebody offers him upwards of 15 million dollars per year. With a potential Kyrie Irving max deal on the horizon and the Celtics dancing on the luxury tax line, it wouldn’t make sense to overpay for Morris, albeit how effective he was. The Al Horford/Gordon Hayward contracts are still on the books, Jaylen Brown hits restricted free agency after next season, then Jayson Tatum hits the market the year after that. Tying up even more money with Morris would hamper them in the coming years and it’d be smart to keep the books open as the years go on. Hopefully it doesn’t come to this and Morris returns with a craving for blood after such a disappointing season from the Celtics.
Stay tuned as I continue to delve into anything and everything Celtics before the off-season begins!