BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Morris claimed last week that the Boston Celtics did not call him when the offseason arrived. Danny Ainge remembers it differently.
The Celtics president of basketball ops. cleared the air Thursday morning during his weekly interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich. While Morris says the team did not call him, Ainge says that he and C’s assistant coach Jerome Allen, along with head coach Brad Stevens, all reached out to Morris after last season came to an end. Ainge believes the former Celtics forward meant that the team did not make an offer to the free agent after renouncing his rights.
“I don’t remember it that way. I did talk to him and I know Jerome Allen talked to him, and Brad Stevens talked to him also. I think what he’s referring to is he didn’t receive an offer,” said Ainge. “We didn’t call and try to sign him back. The reason was because we were signing Kemba [Walker] and we were doing all we could. In order to get Kemba, we had to renounce our free agents.”
Ainge said he did speak to Morris after the free agency period got underway, sharing what he had heard on the open market at the time. Morris initially signed a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, only to back out of that contract to sign a one-year deal for more money with the New York Knicks.
While the Celtics didn’t make Morris an offer over the summer when he became a free agent, Ainge did say the team offered him a three-year extension ahead of the 2018-19 season.
“We did make Marcus Morris a contract extension offer last summer before the season started, and he chose to become a free agent. We liked Marcus and he has played really well for the Knicks. We’re happy for him,” said Ainge.