Spurs latest roster move (or lack thereof) may be long-awaited payback for 2019 snub

Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

In the aftermath of the NBA trade deadline, teams are often either working to integrate their new players or cutting players loose so they can hit the buyout market. However, one player that was expected to hit the buyout market but has yet to do so is Marcus Morris. Morris was acquired by the San Antonio Spurs at the trade deadline in a deal with the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Doug McDermott and a second-round pick.

That acquisition is ironic, to say the least, since the Spurs previously had an agreement with Morris in the summer of 2019, only for him to back out of the deal at the last minute and sign with the New York Knicks. That left them high and dry after they had already made a deal to facilitate the signing. Now, the Spurs are in a position to get revenge, but will they?

Will the Spurs waive Marcus Morris before the deadline?

The deadline for players who were bought out to be eligible to sign with a playoff team is March 1st. Thus far, there have been no indications that San Antonio will buy him out in time to sign with a playoff team. They could simply hold onto him for the rest of the season, preventing him from playing again this season. Or, they could wait until after the deadline to buy him out, which would allow him to sign elsewhere but be unable to play in the postseason.

If the Spurs wanted payback, they could opt for either path, though it may have more to do with the terms of the buyout itself. According to Spotrac, he is owed $6.2 million in remaining salary for this season.

Morris may want the full amount owed to him but the Spurs might want to buy him out for closer to $4,000,000. They have leverage too for the aforementioned reasons. That puts Morris in between a rock and a hard place. Nevertheless, given how he left the Spurs in the summer of 2019, that might be fair.