The trade for Monte Morris and Will Barton sets up the Wizards up to maximize the talent around Bradley Beal, who is expected to re-sign on a five-year deal once free agency begins.
As I mentioned before the draft in my Wizards Tea Leaves piece, trading for Barton just makes sense. Tommy Sheppard has previously spoken about how the Wizards would be comfortable acquiring non-traditional floor generals to share some of the play-making duties and the acquisition will allow Beal to play more of his time with the starters, something that should bring added continuity to the team.
Morris, who started 74 of the 75 games he played with the Nuggets last season, is a low turnover maestro, who should add further control to the offense. Morris hits the Wizards’ other primary objective of finding a veteran starting point. Over his career, the 27-year-old guard has made 39.4 percent of his three-point attempts.
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- Adding salary in the trade isn’t an issue for Washington, as they are still projected to comfortably fit (an expected) five-year max deal for Beal in without becoming a luxury tax team.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma were rumored to be available in trade talks leading up to the draft and Matt Moore of The Action Network hears that they were always set on moving KCP.
- Malcolm Brogdon has been linked to the Wizards, though with Morris in place, any sort of acquisition appears unlikely. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report hears that the franchise was never truly considering sending the No. 10 pick to Indiana for the veteran. Fischer also hears that the trade with the Nuggets makes acquiring Tyus Jones unlikely, as the point guard is looking for a multi-year deal above the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (worth roughly $10.1 million).
- The Wizards were also linked to Dejounte Murray and Collin Sexton leading up to this trade. Sexton, who is a restricted free agent, is reportedly seeking $20 million annually in a new contract, which appears to be outside Washington’s price range now that KCP isn’t available to be included in a sign-and-trade (we outlined what a deal would have looked like in our All-Trade NBA Mock Draft). As for Murray, Washington did inquire about the point guard, per Fischer, though meeting the Spurs’ asking price wasn’t in the cards (San Antonio is rumored to be aiming for as many as four first-round picks).
- What’s next for the Wizards? Fischer mentions Delon Wright as a player he’s hearing in connection to the franchise. Given their strategy, Washington is likely to have access to the $10.1 million mid-level and they are allowed to give out that amount over multiple contracts.