Jun 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) reacts to a score in the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time in his professional career, Monte Morris is on the move.
The veteran point guard and former Iowa State star is reportedly being traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Washington Wizards, along with teammate Will Barton, in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, according to reports from ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.
Morris, a native of Flint, Mich., has spent his entire five-year NBA career in Denver, averaging 10.5 points, 3.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds while appearing in 280 games and establishing himself as one of the league’s best backup point guards. He originally signed a two-way contract with the Nuggets after the franchise selected him No. 51 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.
He is one year into a three-year contract extension that pays him roughly $9 million per year through 2024.
All this followed an Iowa State career that saw Morris go from under-the-radar recruit to one of the best floor generals in all of college basketball, twice earning All-Big 12 honors, being named the 2017 Big 12 Tournament MVP and finishing as the program’s all-time leader in assists and steals.
Playing time was certain to get harder to find for Morris with Denver star guard Jamal Murray set to return from injury next year after missing all of this past season.
Playing time should be available in abundance in Washington, where Morris is expected to play alongside star guard Bradley Beal, but going east also means leaving Denver, a potential Western Conference contender, and back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic to play for one of the league’s worst and historically most inconsistent franchises in Washington.