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The he said/she said stuff with the Celtics borders on the ridiculous. Last month we learned that Kyrie Irving reportedly told the Celtics he was leaving town during his exit interview, a direct contradiction of what Danny Ainge told us all in June.
Now we’re hearing about another tale of contradictory recollections, this time with Marcus Morris:
“Surprisingly no,” Morris told reporters in New York last month about whether he talked with Boston in free agency. “I didn’t get a phone call, I didn’t get anything from Boston … My two years there were special. I thought I did a lot for the team. I thought I at least deserved a phone call.”
“I don’t remember it that way,” Ainge said when asked about Morris’ comments. “I did talk to him. I know Jerome Allen and Brad Stevens talked to him. I think what he’s referring to is that he didn’t receive an offer when he said we didn’t talk to him. The reason was that we were signing Kemba and we were doing all we could. In order to get Kemba, we had to renounce our free agents. That’s why we didn’t make him an offer.”
Ainge went on to reveal the Celtics did make Morris an offer last summer before the season even began to try to keep him in green for the long term.
“We did make Marcus Morris a three-year contract extension offer last summer (in 2018) before the season started. He chose to become a free agent,” Ainge said. “We like Marcus and he’s played really well for the Knicks this year. I’m happy for him.”
BSJ’s Brian Robb estimates the Celtics extension offer was likely 3 years and $34 million, but doubling-up Morris’ $5.3 million salary was not enough to keep him around.
It’s a damn shame because Morris would be a tremendous presence on Boston’s second unit. Morris will likely surpass the $34 million Boston offered (he’s making $15 million this year), but there’s no guarantee he’ll be doing it for a playoff team.