Report: Wizards Nearing Trade for Monte Morris, Will Barton; Caldwell-Pope to Nuggets

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 29, 2022

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 24: Monte Morris #11 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter during Game Four of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 24, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards are "nearing" a trade to acquire Monte Morris and Will Barton, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

The Denver Nuggets would receive Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith in return.

Morris is coming off a career year filling in for the injured Jamal Murray, making 74 starts after starting 31 games in his first four NBA seasons. The point guard averaged 12.6 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 39.5 percent from three-point range.

The 27-year-old could fill a significant need at point guard for the Wizards, who had few reliable options after trading Spencer Dinwiddie before the February deadline last season.

With Murray set to return, the Nuggets clearly wanted to move Morris while his stock was at its highest.

Barton, a 6'5" guard, should also help Washington after averaging 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game last season. The remade backcourt could provide some relief offensively for Bradley Beal if the All-Star remains with the team.

Beal has a $36.4 million player option for 2022-23, although he could also re-sign with the team on a larger deal after reportedly declining the option.

Denver loses some key parts of the rotation, but it adds a reliable two-way guard and NBA champion in Caldwell-Pope. The 29-year-old helped the Los Angeles Lakers win the title in 2020 and averaged 13.2 points last season with Washington.

As a quality perimeter defender who has made 39.5 percent of his threes over the past three seasons, Caldwell-Pope could be a perfect role player alongside Murray and two-time reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic as the Nuggets look to contend in the West.

Smith would presumably fill Morris' role as a backup point guard behind Murray, joining the team with loads of experience:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

Ish Smith is poised to become the most traveled player in NBA history when he joins Denver as his 13th team. <a href="https://t.co/0uHCvNSStc">https://t.co/0uHCvNSStc</a>

The 33-year-old averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 assists in 28 games off the bench for Washington last season after being traded by Charlotte. Undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2010, Smith is heading into his 13th year in the NBA and has proved he can be a reliable part of a roster.