Spurs Marcus Morris antics delay an obvious move

The anticipated buyout of acquired forward Marcus Morris paved the way to give a young Spur a much-earned opportunity on San Antonio's roster.

San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets
San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

With the acquisition of Marcus Morris at the trade deadline, sending fan favorite Doug McDermott to Indiana, it was assumed that Morris wouldn't even need to pack his bags as he was expected to be bought out. The Spurs held up that end of the bargain, as Morris was released on the last day of February, barely making him eligible to join a playoff contender for a postseason run. The delay was an obvious response to the Davis Bertans debacle, but ultimately, San Antonio acted with class.

The release of Marcus paved the way for a roster spot, and many began to expect the conversion of G-League star Dominick Barlow's contract. It was announced that Barlow would receive a fully standard NBA contract after some underrated and well-earned minutes during the stint where Zach Collins was out due to a sprained ankle.

Barlow's production did not go unnoticed

In his short time off the bench at 13.6 minutes a night, Barlow has put up a quiet 4.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.5 blocks a night on an efficient 47.6% from the field. But Barlow's biggest standout in his game is his aggressive fearlessness on the defensive end; he was not even afraid to meet Giannis at the rim a few times this year.

Barlow has had a handful of moments displaying his NBA-caliber skill. The sophomore was among the first players out of the Overtime Elite association. His rookie season wasn't anything to be impressed with, but the 20-year-old has polished his game and basketball IQ to be one of the more consistent pieces of the roster this season.

San Antonio needs an interior presence outside of Wembanyama; with Zach Collins struggling this season, Barlow has shined in the moments he's received. One of Barlow's best abilities is his defensive IQ and knowing where he's always supposed to be—an efficient team defender who's not afraid of anyone around the defensive glass.

With a second unit that struggles in all areas, providing a newfound spark around the interior could add some much-needed spacing and a defensive upgrade for the current roster. Barlow has been steadily improving throughout his career, and with a more significant role within the team, fans could bear witness to a trend the Spurs hope continues.