by Jared Weiss of The Athletic:
This refers to the developing Marcus Morris Mess. If you have not followed, a summary: Already on July 6, Morris, a full-fledged free agent, has signed a $ 20 million two-year deal (with a player option for the second year) with the San Antonio Spurs. Yesterday, against the background of news that the New York Knicks could conclude a two-year $ 21 million contract with freelance agent Reggie Bullock, spending more on top of the league, Morris gave his options a thought over; it now appears that he intends to withdraw from his agreement with Spurs in favor of a one-year contract with the Knicks. The obvious reason is that both contracts would allow him to join the free agency again next summer, but the Knicks can offer him a much higher salary by then, and that's an acceptable compromise if he gives up on the insurance policy represented the optional second year.
This seems to have confused things for San Antonio. According to all reports available, the assumption that Morris was a closed deal prompted the Spurs to forward Dāvis Bertāns to the Washington Wizards as part of the Wheeling and Deal, which allowed the team to sign another free-agent striker, DeMarre Carroll. If the organization had not operated on the assumption that it was on the hook to pay Morris, she might have contracted Carroll directly without having to clear Cap's seat by trading with Bertāns. Now it has no Bertans, and no Morris, and the pool of potential replacement agents for either was pretty shallow in the four days his brain believed to have Morris.  This is a harsh break for the Spurs, one of the most stable and admired businesses in all of American professional sports, and, above all, while still under the long, dark shadow of its unplanned separation from the former presumed franchise cornerstone Kawhi Leonard operates. As you can remember, Leonard has been through the entire 2017/18 season, reportedly because of dissatisfaction with the organization's handling of his leg injuries. The following summer, he was driven out of town by trade and then won a ring and a Finals MVP award as early as next season. So you can imagine another player unexpectedly withdrawing a prior agreement to play for the team, and then suddenly leaving them without many obvious ways to replace him … Well, it could be a little extra.
But that is very significant Up to this point, the media (and professional dog-whistler ) have surrendered the sanctity of the noble "accord" (and that the athletic Doofus is not up there the only one who does it, or to make it public, even Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN got sloppy with the word "engaged" on Morris' agreement with the Spurs and not referring to Focus on Bullock's situation, let's review it.
Bullock, a 28-year-old wing who had spent the last season with the Pistons and then the Lakers, had until the end of the day on July 1st , nine days ago, an agreement with the Knicks hit two years ago and $ 21 million (with a team option for the second season) .Now the Knicks have due to an unspecified problem that a apparently related to his health – Woj calls it "an emerging situation" – withdrawn from it. The organization "is revising the conditions for less financial commitment," says Woj, because it fits in better with the organization and because the organization has the leverage to do it.
I bet Reggie Bullock would have liked to have acted initial agreement as a binding and enforceable obligation! He will lose many millions of dollars because he was not. I wonder if in the nine days between the promise of the Knicks organization to pay him $ 21 million over the next two years, and the unilateral decision to actually pay him one, has made any plans or purchases small fraction from that. As far as I can tell, nobody at The Athletic or anywhere else has demanded that the Knicks organization be banned from the NBA for a year.
Believe it or not, the NBA actually has a mechanism to create a formal, binding and enforceable version of the handshake agreement between a player and an organization. That would be "a contract". Both parties sign it and then have to stick to its terms until it expires. If a player withdraws – for example, by unilaterally withdrawing from his agreement to play for the team – he may even be suspended. Presumably, this would even satisfy Jared Weiss' desire to get the players on their toes. The Spurs and Marcus Morris just did not sign like the Knicks and Reggie Bullock. And until then, no party had a contractual obligation to the other.
Who can imagine why they did not care? Contracting with NBA players, like all other major professional sports, can be incredibly complex legal documents. Presumably, it might take a while for the parties to review and sign all the lines in it. It is not new that many transactions are settled between the time of a published agreement and the actual signing of the documents. This is based inter alia on the assumption that the terms of this agreement are met. But if an unforeseen hiccup in the CBA on Sunday evening suddenly enabled the Spurs to commit Joel Embiid to the cap space they had reserved for Morris' contract, you can be sure they would not tell him. "Sorry, Joel, we've already made an informal agreement to pay that money to Marcus Morris."
More precisely, if that happened the Spurs would be denounced for . An artifact of modern basketball coverage, a vocation today more than ever pursued by ambitious idiots who audition almost naked for front-office jobs in the league, is that all intelligent analysis takes precedence over general managers have to. The players in this context are abstract fungible assets and damn well behave that way. When the Knicks take years and millions of their pre-arranged deals with a mysteriously compromised player like a father-in-law who performatively removes dollar bills from the top every time his glass of water goes blank, it's a basketball affair. If a part of it is criticized, the team has not taken due care. If Marcus Morris withdraws an unfinished agreement with one team in favor of a better deal for another, this is a violation of confidence in the "transaction market" or whatever.
Lines: The only reason the Spurs had to sacrifice Bertanas to be able to afford the agreed deal with Morris is a pay ceiling on which the owners themselves constantly insist. The existence of the salary cap and the kind of hard binary decisions it imposed on the front offices was a problem for the various transaction market respon- sors, as the Spurs unilaterally decided to send Dāvis Bertāns from the best organization in the NBA to one of their best Worst, 1,600 miles away, to make room for another guy you liked better? Ultimately, the criticism of Morris comes down to the fact that "this guy has developed a system and used it routinely to deprive players of the money and autonomy to disappoint a team, and is a unique villain for it."
Respect Morris & # 39; s decision is as sensible as the Knicks'. More importantly, it is in no way inferior to the rules of the League, which have so far rightly treated only contracts such as contracts and non-contractual agreements such as the non-binding ones, which they are. Morris simply does not make that decision from the seat of institutional power in sport. In response to this, in the ridiculous call to punish players for having sought the best offer in the absence of a simpatico quota over as different in the new Horror for independent and mobile gamers who want to know where they live and work shows the outlines of exactly those for which quite a few NBA reporters and analysts do their work – certainly informal, and at least for now without a contract ,