Report: Nuggets to trade Morris, Barton to Wizards for Caldwell-Pope, Smith

2022 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nuggets and Wizards are swapping role players in an effort to address team needs with solid veterans.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (and quickly confirmed and fleshed out by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN), the Nuggets are sending Monte Morris and Will Barton to the Wizards for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith.

This trade could work out for both the Wizards and Nuggets, although it likely won’t officially be consummated until July 6 for salary reasons (after the free agency moratorium ends).

Washington needs a point guard and Morris fills that role nicely (he is an upgrade over Smith). Morris proved he is ready for a starting role last season when he stepped in while Jamal Murray recovered from knee surgery and averaged 12.6 points and 4.4 assists a night with quality play on both ends. In addition, Barton can play a solid backup role behind Bradley Beal.

The Nuggets fill their need for a solid 3&D wing — last season showed the need for more defense and shooting in Denver — and while Smith is not Morris he is a quality backup point guard who can give them minutes behind a returned Murray. Denver didn’t want to move Morris, but you have to give up quality to get quality back, and with the emergence of Bones Hyland the Nuggets could make this trade without too much pain. KCP fills a need and should make the Nuggets a little better — they needed to improve their defense and Caldwell-Pope, plus the returns of Michael Porter Jr. and Murray, should help on that end of the floor. On top of that, Denver saves a little money in this trade.

The biggest news in this trade (not really, but kind of): If Smith plays one second for the Nuggets he sets an NBA record by having played for 13 different NBA teams.