The wizards and nuggets approaching an agreement on a transaction that point guard would send Monte Morris and wing Will Barton to Washington in exchange for swingman Kentavious Caldwell Pope and point guard Ish Smithsources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link†
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms the conditions reported by Charania and adds (via Twitter) that the two teams are in the process of finalizing a deal.
Previously linked to Morris, the Wizards are getting a much-needed commercial point guard upgrade, adding a player considered one of the NBA’s best backups before landing in a starting role last season. pushed as Jamal Murray recovered from ACL surgery.
In his first year as a full-time starter, Morris averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.4 APG and 3.0 RPG on 0.484 / 0.395 / 0.869 shots in 75 games (29.9 MPG). The Nuggets received calls from more than 20 teams about the 27-year-old Mike Singer of The Denver Post†
Washington will also acquire Barton, a solid marksman and scorer who has averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 3.3 APG with a 0.362 3PT% in 479 regular season games for the Nuggets since arriving in Denver in 2015.
Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. is very familiar with both players, having previously served as a Nuggets assistant.
The move reduces the chances of the Wizards seriously pursuing a point guard like Tyus Jones in free agency or Malcolm Brogdon through trade.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets will add a player they’ve been targeting since the Caldwell-Pope trade deadline, Singer said. Denver considers Caldwell-Pope a two-sided upgrade on the wing, values his championship experience with the Lakers and would be interested in keeping him after next season, Singer added.
Caldwell-Pope, 29, averaged 13.2 PPG and made 39.0% of his three-pointers for the Wizards in 2021/22, playing his usual strong defense.
As for Smith, he will provide depth at point guard for a Nuggets team that Murray should have back this fall and saw Bones Hyland enjoy a breakout season as a rookie. Assuming Smith plays for Denver in at least one game, it will be his 13th NBA team and break a league record. tweets Matt Williams of ESPN.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks points out (via Twitter), if no more players are added to the four-player deal, the two teams will have to wait until after the July moratorium to make it official as the Wizards take out several million dollars more than they send in, while the Nuggets save a little money on next season’s payroll.
Caldwell-Pope ($14 MM) and Smith ($4.73 MM) entered the low season with no fully guaranteed salaries for 2022/23, but Caldwell-Pope locked in his guarantee on Tuesday and Smith is on track to receive as well. adhere to salary-matching rules and make the deal legal. Non-guaranteed salary does not count in outbound transactions.
Caldwell-Pope, Smith and Barton ($14.38MM) are all on expiring contracts next season and will be eligible for unlimited free agency in 2023. Morris earns $9.13 MM in ’22/23 and $9.8 MM in ’23/24 before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Nuggets are likely to absorb Smith’s inbound contract using some of the $8.2 million trade exception they made last week JaMychal Green trade. That would allow them to create another larger trade exception, worth at least Morris’s outgoing salary ($9.13 MM), per Mark.