Washington Wizards: Markieff Morris shipped to New Orleans for Wesley Johnson

Washington Wizards, Markieff Morris (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards, Markieff Morris (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

In the second trade of the night for the Washington Wizards, the team moves on from featured player over the past few seasons.

For the second time on Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards have traded one of the players who played an important role in their recent success. Markieff Morris is headed to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Wesley Johnson.

Washington also included a 2023 second-round pick in the exchange.

The most significant part of the deal is that it moves the Wizards under the luxury tax threshold, according to ESPN.

Earlier in the evening, the Wizards sent Otto Porter to the Chicago Bulls for Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, and a second-round pick. This move freed Washington from the remaining three years on Porter’s max contract with Parker and Portis headed towards free agency this summer.

If Porter’s departure didn’t signal it already, Morris’s surely does: The Wizards are looking beyond this season and no longer aiming for the playoffs. These trades come just a day after the team announced that John Wall is likely to miss most, if not all, of next season after surgery on his Achilles.

It also marks a new point in the Wizards’ trajectory as they say goodbye to two players who started for them in their recent playoff runs.

Morris had missed the team’s last 18 games due to injury. Prior to his injury, Scott Brooks demoted Morris to the bench, although he still played a meaningful role as the team’s main backup big and small-ball center.

In four seasons with the Wizards, Morris averaged 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

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As for Johnson, he played just 26 games with the Pelicans this season after signing with the team in the offseason. In his short stint, he averaged 3.7 points per game in 14.5 minutes. He will be a free agent after this season.