Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVJune 22, 2023
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The Washington Wizards “have already begun contacting opposing teams” about trading veteran guard Monte Morris, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.
Washington has been active this offseason as it pivots toward a total rebuild. The team already agreed to trade Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Washington agreed to ship Kristaps Porziņģis to the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal.
Fischer reported on June 9 that Morris was among the point guards on Phoenix’s radar as the team pondered what to do with veteran floor general Paul George. The Suns are probably off the table as a suitor now since they presumably would’ve found a way to rope the 27-year-old into the trade for Beal already.
Morris, whom Washington acquired from the Denver Nuggets last summer, averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 assists in his first season with the team. He remained an effective long-range shooter as well, hitting 38.2 percent of his threes.
The Porziņģis trade gives the Wizards some flexibility with Morris since Tyus Jones is part of their return in the deal. Assuming Paul is traded or waived, Jones can be their starting point guard in 2023-24 with Delon Wright backing him up.
Morris’ contract status makes him somewhat expendable since rebuilding teams often look to flip expiring deals rather than lose a vet for nothing in a year.
This year’s free-agent class is pretty thin at point guard, which could inflate the value of those players hitting the market. For a team looking to add backcourt depth, Morris would be a sensible alternative.