Durant’s decision continues to generate heated debate, particularly on social media, but Morris made his feelings known in person. And he isn’t siding with the Prince George’s County native whom Wizards fans had been hoping would return to his home region.
“I don’t think it’s right, but it is what it is,” said Morris, who joined the Wizards in February after the club dealt a protected 2016 first-round pick, DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries to the Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline.
Asked to clarify his initial comments, Morris continued: “You know what I mean by that. That ain’t right.”
Durant, according to reports, agreed to a two-year deal worth $54.3 million with the 2015 NBA champions. He joins reigning two-time MVP Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, among others, to form the core group that on paper has the potential to eclipse this past season’s team that set the NBA record with 73 wins.
“The money is going to be there for anything,” Morris said. “It’s not about that. It’s the whole situation. It’s like, man, come on. You don’t do that.”
So Durant should have stayed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, right, especially after coming within one game of beating Golden State in the Western Conference finals this past season?
“I wouldn’t say that,” Morris said. “I wouldn’t have went there [Golden State] for sure. First of all, they just beat us, so that’s more important. It would have been a fire inside me to beat them next year, but a lot of guys are different. I just didn’t expect that from Durant. I know him a little bit, and I didn’t expect that.”
As far as the Wizards’ expectations for next season, that depends in large part on the health of Beal and point guard John Wall, both of whom are recovering from injuries. Beal was one of the top two restricted free agents on the market but has dealt with a stress injury to his right fibula in each of his four seasons.
Wall, meanwhile, underwent surgery on both knees in early May and expects to be ready for the start of next season. His status for the preseason remains in doubt, although team President Ernie Grunfeld has expressed optimism Wall will be back by training camp.
In addition to Beal, the Wizards made several other moves in free agency, including adding 6-foot-11 center Ian Mahinmi for four years at $64 million, according to league sources. Other additions were guard Trey Burke, power forward Andrew Nicholson, forward-center Jason Smith and guard Tomas Satoransky, whom Washington drafted in 2012 in the second round.
The Wizards had been among the finalists to land coveted big man Al Horford, but the four-time all-star elected to go to the Boston Celtics. The biggest name left in free agency was Dwyane Wade, who announced he was leaving Miami to join his hometown Chicago Bulls..
“I thought actually we would get him here, honestly,” Morris said of Horford, before the Wade news broke. “It’s cool. Just waiting on what D-Wade is going to do now.”