Boston Celtics

May 19, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) dribbles the ball up the court during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game three of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

Former Celtic Marcus Morris said last week that Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge did not call him this summer as the team decided to let the forward depart in free agency.

Now Ainge says that’s not true.

In his weekly interview with Toucher & Rich, Ainge said he did speak with Morris, as did other members of the organization, but said the team did not extend a contract offer to Morris due to their pursuit of Kemba Walker.

“I don’t remember it that way. I did talk to him and I know [assistant coach] Jerome Allen talked to him, and Brad Stevens talked to him also. I think what he’s referring to is he didn’t receive an offer. We didn’t call and try to sign him back. The reason was because we were signing Kemba and we were doing all we could and in order to get Kemba, we had to renounce our free agents. That’s why we didn’t make him an offer.”

Ainge did say the Celtics were interested in keeping Morris before the start of last season and offered him a three-year extension.

“We did make Marcus Morris a three-year contract extension offer last summer before the season started, and he chose to become a free agent,” Ainge said. “We liked Marcus and he has played really well for the Knicks. We’re happy for him.”

Ainge also expressed happiness for former Celtic Isaiah Thomas, who has had a strong start to his season with the Washington Wizards. He offered praised for Terry Rozier, who the Celtics will see Thursday night as they play the Charlotte Hornets.

In the interview, Ainge also touched on the Celtics hot start to 2019, the differences offensively between last year and this year, and Gordon Hayward’s play

You can listen to the full discussion here:

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.