Report: Rich Paul did not want Marcus Morris to back out of Spurs deal
Marcus Morris and his agent Rich Paul agreed to mutually part ways following a bizarre turn of events that saw Morris sign with the New York Knicks, and it sounds like it may have been the agent who no longer wanted to work with the player.
Morris verbally agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs during the first week of free agency, but he backed out to sign a one-year, $15 million contract with the Knicks. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Paul wanted Morris to honor his original agreement with the Spurs, and Morris backed out and negotiated a deal with New York on his own.
Berman also reports that Morris “got cold feet” about playing for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Morris said last week that he has respect for the Spurs and was trying to make the best decision for him and his family.
Forward Marcus Morris tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium on reopening his free agency and signing with the Knicks on a one-year, $15M deal: “I had to make this decision based on the best situation for me and my family. This is no knock on the Spurs. I have respect for them.”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 11, 2019
The Knicks ended up having unexpected salary cap space when free agent Reggie Bullock had an issue with his physical. Bullock is still signing with the team, but at a lower salary. After Morris bailed on them, the Spurs signed forward Trey Lyles to a two-year, $11 million deal. Lyles is one of Paul’s clients.
Paul has become a massive influence in the NBA, and it makes sense that he did not want to risk souring his relationship with the Spurs. While an agent’s job is to make his client happy, you can see how that would be a bad look after he went through the process of negotiating a contract with San Antonio and had a handshake agreement in place.