WASHINGTON, DC – The Washington Wizards announced today that they have acquired Monte Morris and Will Barton III in a trade with Denver that sent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to the Nuggets.
"We’re very excited to add Monte and Will as proven players at the point guard and shooting guard positions, two areas that were top priorities for us to address during this offseason,” said Wizards President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “Monte has steadily improved his all-around game and is coming off a career year while Will has been a consistent scorer and three-point threat during his time in Denver, and both are obviously familiar with Coach Unseld’s system and style.”
Morris (6-3, 175), a five-year NBA veteran, comes to Washington after averaging career-bests of 12.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 75 games (74 starts) in 2021-22. Morris topped 20 points on seven different occasions last year and dished at least five assists in 34 games while limiting turnovers, as he finished fifth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.27:1.
In 280 career games (105 starts) with the Nuggets, Morris has averaged 10.5 points and 3.7 assists per game on .481 shooting from the field and .394 shooting from three with a 4.8:1 assist to turnover ratio. He has averaged double-digit scoring over each of the past two seasons and has shot at least .450 from the field and .370 from three-point territory in each of the past four. He ranked 29th in three-point percentage last season (.395) and connected on multiple three-pointers in 36 games. Morris shot a career-best .414 from three-point range in 2018-19, 13th best in the NBA. The native of Grand Rapids, MI, played four years at Iowa State, leaving as the Cyclones’ all-time winningest player with 100 victories before being selected 51st overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by Denver.
Barton III (6-6, 190) has played 10 NBA seasons with Portland and Denver, appearing in 623 games (284 starts) and averaging 11.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting .362 from three-point range. In his seven-and-a-half seasons in Denver after being acquired at the 2015 trade deadline, Barton III averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and leaves the Nuggets as the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (804).
In 71 games (all starts) with the Nuggets last season, Barton III averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists in 32.1 minutes per contest. He shot .438 from the field and .365 from three-point territory while attempting a career-high 6.1 three-pointers per game. The 31-year-old guard scored in double-figures in 57 games and totaled 20 or more points on 17 occasions. The Memphis product averaged 10+ points in every season with Denver (2015-2022) and has shot .360 or better from three-point range in five of the last six seasons. The Baltimore native was originally selected with the 40th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by Portland.
Morris and Barton III combined to average 27.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game on .444 shooting from the field and .407 shooting from three during the 2021-22 NBA Playoffs.
Caldwell-Pope started in 77 games in his lone season in Washington after being acquired as part of the five-team deal from the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 13.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In his second stint in Washington, Ish Smith averaged 8.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in 28 games after being acquired at the trade deadline from Charlotte.
“We wish KCP and Ish and their families the very best and we thank them for their time with the Wizards,” said Sheppard.