Let’s take a quick look at this trade and what it means for the respective teams…
Knicks add pick
The rebuilding Knicks take Harkless’ expiring salary and acquire a pick for Morris, who was on an expiring himself. New York are deep in a rebuild still and add yet more draft capital on top of the warchest they received from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
Morris, a free agent to be, wasn’t set to be moved prior to Steve Mills getting fired earlier this week. The Knicks aren’t known for their smart decision making, but this seems like the best possible outcome from the trade deadline. A first-round pick for Morris looks to be a good return considering the Golden State Warriors only received one first for D’Angelo Russell.
Clippers get shooting, ball-handling
You don’t need to be an NBA expert to know Thomas isn’t the player he was. Injuries have seen him decline, though he remains a handy backup point guard and provides useful ball-handling off the bench for the Clips down the stretch. They aren’t blessed in that department.
Morris is a player they have coveted for some time. In a parallel universe, he signed at Staples Center in the summer. Instead, the Clippers had to move Harkless’ contract to land the three-point shooting forward. Morris is another good defender, joining a fearsome defensive unit.
Considering the Lakers’ reported interest in Morris, his arrival serves a double purpose for the Clips.
Wizards help out
Per Bobby Marks, the Wizards were added to the deal for salary and roster reasons. The Harkless for Morris trade didn’t work straight up, so Robinson’s salary was required. The Knicks didn’t have room for an extra player.
Washington stepped in, taking Robinson and letting Thomas switch coasts.