How the newest Cleveland Cavalier has already left a lasting impact

Marcus Morris Sr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Marcus Morris Sr., Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Last week, news broke of the Cleveland Cavaliers signing Marcus Morris Sr. to a 10-day contract. Morris' former teammate Patrick Beverley of the Pat Bev Pod initially reported Morris was planning to sign with Cleveland, and the signing would eventually follow suit after a few more days.

Morris previously had played with the Philadelphia 76ers this season before being dealt to the San Antonio Spurs near the trade deadline. The Spurs soon waived him on February 29, making him playoff eligible. With a season full of travel, Morris joined Philly from the LA Clippers in the James Harden trade. It seems he has finally landed in his final stop this year with Cleveland.

With Morris having been available as a late-season pickup, it was sensible for the Cavaliers to bring him in. The Cavs' unending injuries gave reason to find another veteran forward to help placate their struggles.

While it is hard to forecast if Morris will be a part of Cleveland's plans beyond this next week, but he has the makings of a battle-tested vet who could stick around for the rest of the season.

Morris feels like more than just a 10-day add for the Cavs.

Morris has long established himself as a solid forward in the league. He's had respectable career averages of 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest in an average of 26.7 minutes.

With Philadelphia, he was in a reduced role, and he has been in a similar bench role with the Cavaliers. The 34-year-old veteran will fall behind Max Strus, Dean Wade and Evan Mobley when the Cavs are at full health, but he has already bee an impact player through just two full games. HIs gritty defense and three-point shooting serve as an example of the needs the team has from the rest of their forward rotation.

Demonstrated by his debut in Cleveland's win over the Indiana Pacers, Morris was worth taking the chance. He had 14 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes in that one and shot four-of-five from three-point range while being a plus-nine overall.

Granted, Morris had four points on one-of-three shooting in 16 minutes versus the Miami Heat in Wednesday's loss, but if the chances are there, he can make an impact for Cleveland. His confident shooting and willingness to absorb contact in the paint are two talents the Cavs were in desperate need to find.

Morris is a proven shooter that can give the Cavaliers a boost off the bench from deep and can be a good pick-and-pop threat in the right moments. He's a capable trailing or weak side shooter as well, which could mesh well in several lineups.

Last season with the Clippers, Morris knocked down 36.4 percent of his three-point attempts, and had 11.2 points per contest. For his career, he's shot 37.7 percent from beyond the arc on 4.2 attempts per outing.

The attempts weren't as many this season with Philly; however, he did knock in 40.0 percent of those looks. Morris definitely can benefit from playing off of Cleveland's key creators. He could theoretically mesh with the Cavalier bigs in specialized lineups.

Morris is still a guy who can make some things happen for myself and has more to his game than off-ball shooting. He won't be doing it at a high volume, but Morris can give the Cavaliers a lift as a tertiary shot creation option at times still score out of the mid-post against mismatches. Morris can also utilize ball fakes to slip past defending forwards at times.

On the other end, Morris is not at the level of Dean Wade at this stage, but he's realistically more competent for stretches on-ball than Georges Niang. Morris should be decent defensively in bench stretches, and his physicality and toughness are things to consider from a rebounding standpoint for Cleveland.

Another positive in the Morris signing is his playoff experience throughout his career. In Morris' time in the league's "second season", he has averaged 12.6 points and 5.1 rebounds over 61 games. It is no small statistic, and he could be a reliable postseason contributor for the Cavaliers if he sticks around after his 10-day deal is done.

Morris has had his share of playoff experience, with that coming in recent seasons with LA, and previously with the Boston Celtics earlier on, for example. If he were to stick around with the Cavaliers past this 10-day or after a second 10-day perhaps, that's also something that could come in handy.

Not to mention, Morris definitely brings toughness to this group, which is huge for a potential deep playoff run. This had to have been something that caught Cavs fan's eyes this week from recent media availability, via Camryn Justice of WEWS.

The Cavs still have to earn their playoff mettle, and they have something to prove in that time of the year, particularly after last season's disappointment. Don't discount that mentality and vocal leadership from Morris.

There is no guarantee that Morris will stay in Cleveland for the rest of this season, but their injuries and current needs have already been answered by the vet. At this point, it would be surprising if Morris is not on the Cavaliers' bench in the playoffs.

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