Will Barton was merely 'the grease' that secured Wizards' trade with Nuggets


Monte Morris was in all likelihood the Wizards' primary target in their trade talks with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

That makes Will Barton, the other guard coming to D.C. in the deal, the "grease" that got the deal over the finish line, Denver Post reporter Mike Singer explained to Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier of 106.7 The Fan.

"Everyone in D.C. is going to love Monte Morris," Singer said Thursday. "He's a 27-year-old, shoots close to 40 percent from three, steady game manager, proved last season that he was a starting caliber point guard in the NBA. Took over as Jamal Murray was rehabbing his ACL. Penchant for big shots, shows up in the playoffs."

"Like, there is a reason that the Washington Wizards and probably Wes Unseld Jr. had underlined and highlighted Monte Morris as a potential target in trade talks," Singer continued. "Monte is a very steady player who I think everyone is going to grow to love. He was beloved in Denver, loved in the locker room and he's a really good player."

The Wizards, who sent Ish Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Nuggets as their end of the deal, have reunited Morris and Barton with Wes Unseld Jr., who prior to becoming Washington's head coach was a Denver assistant for both players for five seasons.

"My understanding is that in order to get Monte Morris, the Wizards had to accept Will Barton as well," Singer explained. "So I think Monte was kind of the target and I think Will Barton was the grease to that deal. I'm not sure how much interest there was league-wide in Will Barton, but the Nuggets wanted to get better defensively, so they obviously made the calculus: Will and Monte going out, and adding a defender and three-point shooter in KCP was a better aggregate talent total for them in their championship pursuit."