The Denver Nuggets have traded guards Will Barton and Monte Morris to the Washington Wizards for guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith. According to reports on the trade, the Nuggets had long been after Caldwell-Pope and he did not factor into the Wizards’ long-term plans. Trades like this normally have at least one draft pick, but this one seemingly does not. Washington placed value on Morris and Barton over Caldwell-Pope and Smith. All four players served in various rotation roles on their teams last season.
DEN has had its eye on KCP for a long time — at least dating to last season’s trade deadline, per sources — and he’s a smoother 3-and-D fit around Jokic than Barton is. With Bones locked in, going from Morris to Ish at backup PG is a relatively painless way to (blech) duck tax. https://t.co/bdRxX1wRRs
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 29, 2022
The fit for both teams seems ideal with this trade. The Wizards land two players that could start or be a major upgrade off the bench while the Nuggets land a better fit with Nikola Jokic, in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, paired with a player that isn’t a large drop-off as the backup point guard. It is imperative the franchise finds a way to better compete while Jokic is still in his MVP prime. The return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. should help with that.
Trade is done: Washington is acquiring Denver’s Will Barton and Monte Morris for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2022
The Denver Nuggets have the back-to-back MVP and want to win an NBA Championship with him on the roster. This move alone won’t do that, but in their minds, it does get them closer to that goal. More moves will likely follow and Def Pen Sports will report on them.