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Nuggets-Wizards trade: Denver acquires Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ish Smith in four-player deal, per report

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The Denver Nuggets are trading guards Will Barton and Monte Morris to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, per Shams Charania. This deal gives the Nuggets some financial flexibility for next year, as Morris still hadstwo years remaining on a three-year, $27 million deal.

With the addition of Caldwell-Pope, this deal also upgrades the Nuggets defensively, an area where Denver has struggled over the years. The Nuggets are expected to get back Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. from injury next season, putting them back into the title contender conversation, and this trade gives them some more depth on cheaper deals to put around two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.

With both Caldwell-Pope and Smith’s contracts expiring after the 2022-23 season, it will give Denver a bit of a financial break for a team that is $32 million over the cap entering this upcoming season. With Murray and Porter Jr. already signed to hefty contracts, and Jokic expected to sign a five-year, $254 million supermax contract this summer, finding ways to save money while not sacrificing talent is key for the Nuggets going forward. This trade ensures that. 

Another interesting tidbit to this trade is that if Smith does suit up for the Nuggets this fall, he will have set a record for most teams played for in the NBA at 13. 

For the Wizards, they’re getting back two solid players in Barton and Morris, both of whom are solid 3-point shooters to space the floor, so there isn’t much loss here for them either. Bradley Beal is expected to sign a $248 million supermax contract this summer, so maintaining the talent around him while the Wizards try to remain competitive is important. This trade also likely takes the Wizards out of the Malcolm Brogdon sweepstakes, though they could still find ways to acquire the 29-year-old point guard if they’re wanting to pair him with Beal in the backcourt. 




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