Wizards, Nuggets finalizing trade involving Morris, Barton, KCP

Wizards, Nuggets finalizing trade involving Morris, Barton, KCP

The Wizards and Nuggets are approaching an agreement on a trade that would send the point guard Mount Morris and wing Will Barton to Washington in exchange for swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and leader Ich Smithsources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms the terms reported by Charania, adding (by Twitter) that the two teams are in the process of finalizing an agreement.

The Wizards, who were previously linked to Morris, will get a much-needed point guard upgrade in the trade, adding a player who was considered one of the best backups in the NBA before being thrust into a starting role. last season 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 .484/.395/.869 in 75 games (29.9 MPG). The Nuggets have received calls from more than 20 teams about the 27-year-old, per Denver Post’s Mike Singer.

Washington will also acquire Barton, a solid shooter and scorer who has averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 3.3 APG with a .362 3PT% in 479 regular season games for the Nuggets since joining Denver in 2015. .

Wizarding Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr. is very familiar with both players, having previously served as an assistant for the Nuggets.

This decision reduces the likelihood that the Wizards will seriously pursue 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 trade deadline in Caldwell-Pope, according to Singer. Denver views Caldwell-Pope as a two-way upgrade on the wing, values ​​his championship experience with the Lakers and would be interested in retaining him beyond next season, Singer adds.

Caldwell-Pope, 29, averaged 13.2 PPG and made 39.0% of his three-pointers for the Wizards in 2021/22, while playing his usual strong defense.

As for Smith, he will provide depth at point guard for a Nuggets team that is expected to bring Murray back this fall and has seen Bones Hyland enjoy an exceptional season as a rookie. Assuming Smith plays at least one game for Denver, this will be his 13th NBA team, breaking a league record, tweet ESPN’s Matt Williams.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (by Twitter), if no more players are added to the four-player deal, both teams will have to wait until after the July moratorium to make it official, since the Wizards are taking several million dollars more than they send. , while the Nuggets save some money on next season’s payroll.

Caldwell-Pope ($14 million) and Smith ($4.73 million) entered the offseason without fully guaranteed wages for 2022/23, but Caldwell-Pope locked in his guarantee on Tuesday and Smith is on track to also receive in order to meet the salary. – matching rules and make the deal legal. Non-guaranteed salary does not count in trades for exit purposes.

Caldwell-Pope, Smith and Barton ($14.38 million) will all have contracts expiring next season and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023. Morris will earn $9.13 million on 22/23 and 9, $8 million in 23/24 before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The Nuggets will likely absorb Smith’s incoming contract using part of the $8.2 million trade exception they created last week. Green Ja Mychal Trade. This would allow them to create a new, larger trade exception, worth at least Morris’ outgoing salary ($9.13 million), per Marks.

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