The Bulls were already linked to one Celtics player this offseason in Terry Rozier. We can add another to the list as The Athletic’s Shams Charania says Chicago is expected to pursue forward Marcus Morris this summer, among a host of other teams:
Celtics free agent Marcus Morris will have strong interest as a second-tier free agent, with teams such as the Knicks, Kings, Lakers, Clippers and Bulls expected to be in pursuit, league sources said. Morris, 29, had arguably his best all-around season, averaging 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game and serving as a versatile scorer and defender either as a starter or reserve. League sources say Morris remains open-minded about returning to Boston, which wants to bring Morris back but has several summer priorities such as Kyrie Irving.
Morris’ numbers were indeed solid this season playing as both a starter (53 games out of 75) and a reserve. In addition to his solid basic stats as a role guy, he shot 37.5% from 3-land on over five attempts per game and posted a career-best 56.8 true shooting percentage.
In the playoffs, Morris put up 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting over 51.9% from the field and 45.0% on 3-pointers. The Celtics may have flamed out in five games in the second round after a tumultuous regular season, but Morris helped himself this summer with his play.
The Bulls are in need of frontcourt depth, with Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Cristiano Felicio as the only true bigs under contract next season. Otto Porter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison can play small-ball 4, but Morris would be a legitimate stretch 4 off the bench, and he can also play some small-ball 5 if needed.
Morris would also bring some of that edge the Bulls are looking to add, so he has that going for him (though it could also potentially backfire). The 29-year-old made $5.375 million in 2018-19 and will likely be looking for a raise given his play. Depending on how the Bulls’ cap space shakes out, he’s not a bad option to pursue at a reasonable raise on his most recent contract (he’s probably an MLE-ish player).