Marcus Morris is positioning himself for a nice payday this offseason.
But if we’re to believe the Boston Celtics forward, the prospect of a lucrative contract is far from his mind as he puts together the most productive season of his eight-year NBA career.
“A motivator? Nah, I wouldn’t say that,” Morris recently told The Athletic’s Jay King of whether he’s been driven by his looming free agency. “Obviously, who wouldn’t want to play well in their contract year, but it wasn’t a motivator. The feeling that I had last year being so close to being in the Finals, that was more of a motivator for me if anything.”
Morris, now in his second season with the Celtics, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. It remains to be seen what type of contract Morris will command on the open market, but his stock definitely is rising thanks to his performance in recent months.
Not only is Morris making an impact with his outside shooting and defensive versatility — two longtime staples in his game. He’s also been way more efficient on the offensive end. And sources around the league told King the 29-year-old has set himself up to cash in financially.
“Is it in the back of my mind? Nah, man,” Morris said of his next contract, per King. “I mean, I don’t really approach the season and the games like that, to be honest with you. Every year I’ve tried to get better. Even when it wasn’t my contract year, I always tried to improve and bring something else to the game. I’m just getting the opportunity doing it on such a high level with the Boston Celtics, I think it’s just getting noticed more. … So, I don’t think it’s the contract year. I just think I’m in a great system, playing with great players, and I’m being able to feed for myself. It’s not like I can’t get it done.”
Morris entered Wednesday averaging a career-high 15.5 points per game in 27.5 minutes per contest. He’s shooting 50.1 percent from the field, including 44.1 percent from beyond the arc, and one could argue he’s been Boston’s best player this season besides Kyrie Irving.
That all counts for something, right? Don’t be surprised if Morris is handsomely rewarded in a few months, even if he’s currently thinking about buckets more than dollar signs.