Marcus Morris details talks with J.B. Bickerstaff that led to Cavs signing forward

4 Min Read
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran forward Marcus Morris shared that talks with Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B Bickerstaff helped lead to him signing a 10-day deal with the team.

The Cavs reportedly have not guaranteed Morris a roster spot – or playing time – beyond his 10-day deal, but his relationship with Bickerstaff led to him joining the franchise for at least a short period of time.

“Sources tell that the Cavs have not made any assurances to Morris about his place on the roster beyond this 10-day deal or his role in the meantime,”’s Chris Fedor wrote. “Given the lengthy injury list, it’s possible he will remain in Cleveland for a second 10-day or even receive a standard contract, providing depth and insurance going into the playoffs — if the fit is right.”

Morris, who was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 29 after he was traded by the Philadelphia 76ers, has a long relationship with Bickerstaff, dating back to his time with the Houston Rockets. At that time, Bickerstaff was an assistant and Morris was a rookie first-round pick.

“My relationship with J.B.,” Morris said when asked why he signed with the Cavs. “We have been talking for the past couple weeks. Been talking basketball and watching the game. I was like, ‘Man, I think I can help.’ He was like, ‘We would love to have you.’ The rest was history.”

The Cavs are dealing with some injuries right now with Evan Mobley and Max Strus out of the lineup and Dean Wade listed as doubtful for the team’s game on Monday night with a knee injury.

Morris, a veteran journeyman, could be a player that helps fill the void in the frontcourt for the Cavs until those players return. In his NBA career, Morris has played for the Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Sixers.

“I can do a lot of things,” Morris said. “Shoot the ball. Space it out. We’ve got great bigs that can pass out of the pocket. A point guard that is very talented. Guys that play the game the right way. The one thing I’ve watched since I’ve been at home chilling with my kids in the sun, just watching all the great ball movement with this team and the great defense they play.

“It’s a great group of guys and a good mixture. Excited to be here.”

It’s possible that Morris could earn a role with the team down the stretch of this season, and it’ll probably help his case that he has a prior relationship with Bickerstaff. This season, Morris is averaging 6.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Cleveland currently holds the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, so there’s a good chance that Morris will be part of a playoff team if he stays with the Cavs. It’ll be interesting to see how Bickerstaff’s rotations look in the coming games now that Morris is in the fold.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.