Wizards to acquire Morris, Barton from Nuggets in four-player trade

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The Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards are nearing completion of a trade that would send point guard Monte Morris and swingman Will Barton to Washington for guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, according to multiple reports.

Morris, who started 74 games in place of an injured Jamal Murray last season, would fill the Wizards' primary need of a starting point guard. Washington had previously been rumoured to have interest in trading for Indiana's Malcolm Brogdon.

The 27-year-old Morris averaged career highs of 12.6 points and 4.4 assists per game in 2021-22 and is a career 39.4 percent shooter from three-point range. The five-year veteran has two seasons remaining on a three-year, $27.8million extension he signed with Denver in December 2020.

Both Caldwell-Pope and Barton are entering the final years of their respective contracts and have nearly identical salaries for 2021-22.

In Caldwell-Pope, the Nuggets get a strong wing defender and a proven outside shooter who has made 38.5 percent or more of his three-point attempts in each of the last three seasons. The 29-year-old averaged 13.2 points while starting 77 games in his lone season with Washington after being acquired from the Lakers as part of the trade that sent former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles.

Barton started a career-high 71 games last season and averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The 31-year-old had been the Nuggets' longest-tenured player, having spent seven-plus seasons with the franchise.

The well-travelled Smith would set an NBA record by playing with his 13th team should he suit up for the Nuggets. The 12-year veteran, who averaged 6.3 points and 3.8 assists in 65 games last season, has a non-guaranteed $4.725m salary for 2022-23.

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