Having agreed to acquire point guards Tyus Jones and Chris Paul in separate trades, the Wizards have begun talking to rival teams about Monte Morris, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. According to Fischer, Washington’s front office – which has already been very active this offseason – is telling potential trade partners that the team doesn’t want to take on any long-term money.
It remains to be seen what the Wizards have in mind for Paul. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (YouTube link) said during a TV appearance earlier this week that he doesn’t get the sense that Washington is trying to “bottom out” by going into full tank mode, suggesting he can envision a scenario where Paul is on next season’s roster. However, that was before the team agreed to acquire Jones.
According to Fischer, the Wizards and Suns are tentatively planning for the Bradley Beal trade call to take place on Friday. It’s unclear whether Paul will be flipped to a new team as part of that deal or whether Washington’s three-team trade with Boston and Memphis might be folded into the same transaction.
Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:
- Andrew Greif and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times provide a little more context on the recent Paul George trade rumors, suggesting that the Knicks initiated talks with the Clippers but are hesitant to pursue the star forward, who may seek an extension when he becomes eligible this offseason. There’s a sense that George’s value might not be as high as the Clippers would like, given his injury history and his contract situation, per The Times’ duo. A previous report indicated he’s unlikely to be dealt.
- Rising star Mikal Bridges tells Brian Lewis of The New York Post that he has been informed by the Nets that they have no interest in trading him. The team has conveyed that stance both publicly and privately, according to Lewis. “As of right now they’re saying they’re not, but I think just being a good person kind of helps with that, because there’s just like you don’t want to lose a person like that, which is always a good quality to have,” Bridges said. “So, [I feel] just blessed, man; just blessed and very appreciative for that. And that just does show that love, honestly.”
- In addition to offering four first-round picks for Bridges at the trade deadline, the Grizzlies are also said to have targeted Magic forward Franz Wagner in recent months, Fischer reports. Fischer refers to the team’s decision to surrender a pair of first-rounders for Marcus Smart as a “middle-ground” move after those more ambitious pursuits didn’t pan out.
- While it doesn’t sound like Bridges will be going anywhere this offseason, the futures of fellow Nets forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale remain uncertain. According to Fischer, Brooklyn is seeking a first-round pick in return for O’Neale and wants a pick and a player for Finney-Smith.
- It may end up being a quiet draft night for the Bulls, who don’t currently have a pick, but they’re still exploring ways to acquire a first-rounder, reports Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. In other Bulls news, Cowley hears from sources that free-agent-to-be Nikola Vucevic may be willing to give Chicago a “hometown discount” on a new multiyear contract. The big man made $22MM this past season.