Following another frustrating second-round exit for the 76ers, Joel Embiid was clear about what he felt the team was missing in their role players. Singing the praises of PJ Tucker multiple times, Embiid practically pounded the table for a “tough guy” like Tucker — or even Tucker himself should he become available. There are few players who fit the mold of both a “tough guy” and a contributor, but there is one available who comes to mind. Marcus Morris could fill the role Joel Embiid is looking for, and based on his actions as of late, he may want to be the 76ers‘ “tough guy.”
Does Morris Fit With Philly?
A Philadelphia native, Morris and his twin brother Markieff have found themselves connected to the 76ers for some time. The stars may be finally aligning for Marcus, though, as last month, a rumor surfaced that the Clippers are expected to pursue trades to move on from Morris. The 11-year veteran is coming off of a very solid season that saw him average 15.4 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 36.7% from three and 87.2% from the free-throw line. While playing at home has been occasionally controversial for players, Morris may be all-in on the idea.
Morris’ fit with the Philadelphia 76ers is obvious either as a replacement for Tobias Harris in the starting lineup or even as a backup for both Harris and a small-ball backup for Joel Embiid. He’s also a talented shooter and a strong finisher inside, two skills every team needs more of. Perhaps most important of all is Morris’ ability to play the “tough guy” role. Morris is a hustler, an instigator, and an agitator; all features of the type of player Joel Embiid said the 76ers need.
Many fans of the 76ers already seem to be on board with the idea of adding Morris and have been for some time now, but they may not be alone, as Morris himself hinted at the idea.
The “Tough Guy” With a “Soft Spot” for Home?
Morris apparently caught wind of an article by Matty Breisch via Section 215 suggesting that he could be just the player to fill the need Joel Embiid described and “liked” the post. Does this mean anything? Not inherently. Perhaps Morris enjoyed the idea of coming home, or maybe just appreciated being referred to as a “tough guy.” Regardless, a move for Morris is more complicated than him simply “liking” a post referring to a deal.
Marcus Morris has over $33M remaining over two years on his current contract. That’s not something a financially strapped team like the 76ers can easily overcome. Sure, there are potential deals to be made if the team moves Tobias Harris or if they accept Danny Green‘s $10M player option, but those decisions have further ramifications that may interfere with the team’s pursuit of a Bradley Beal type player.
Could the 76ers Pursue Morris?
If Daryl Morey and the team decide to take a quantity over quality approach, however — which they may be wise to do — then a deal could be struck, and Joel Embiid could have the “tough guy” teammate he’s been missing since, in his words, Mike Scott. Morris aside, the need for physicality and toughness is clear, and the Sixers would be wise to add at least a player or two who fit that description. Without a doubt, though, Marcus Morris would be a great fit in Philadelphia.
If Morris is truly interested in playing for his hometown team, could he help negotiate a deal to send him to Philly? Would the Clippers move him for a discount? They don’t seem to value him very highly at the moment, so he could very well end up very affordable as well. There are still plenty of questions surrounding the Marcus Morris situation, but one thing is clear. This offseason will be a busy one for Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers. What’s already clear is that this team will look much different come next season.