Nuggets trade Barton, Morris to Wizards for KCP, Smith

Posted: 01/07/2022 in NBA
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The Denver Nuggets traded guard Monte Morris and wing Will Barton to the Washington Wizards in exchange for wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and guard Ish Smith, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Caldwell-Pope is a proven 3-and-D player who’s shot 36% from distance and averaged 1.1 steals per game throughout his career, while Smith is among the NBA’s most well-traveled journeymen. If Smith plays a game for Denver, he’ll set a new record by suiting up for a 13th NBA franchise, per ESPN’s Matt Williams.

Barton averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 71 contests with Denver last season, while Morris posted 12.6 points and 4.4 assists across 75 games (74 starts). Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. has coached the pair before during his time as a Nuggets assistant from 2015-2021.

Barton could back up star shooting guard Bradley Beal or fill Caldwell-Pope’s now-vacant spot in Washington’s starting five. Morris has the tools to immediately step in as the Wizards’ starting point guard ahead of recently drafted Johnny Davis.

Caldwell-Pope is set to earn $14 million in the final season of his three-year, $39-million contract. Barton, who’s also on an expiring deal, will earn $14.3 million during the 2022-23 campaign. Morris still has two seasons left on his contract, while Smith’s $4.7-million salary will now be guaranteed following the trade, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Led by back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, Denver finished sixth in the Western Conference last season at 48-34 despite playing the majority of its games without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

Washington finished outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a pedestrian 35-47 record.

This trade is the first deal made by Nuggets president of basketball operations Calvin Booth since the departure of former team president Tim Connelly.

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