Can the Wizards capitalize on Phoenix Suns’ interest in Monte Morris?

Monte Morris of the Washington Wizards throws a no look pass against the Portland Trailblazers (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
Monte Morris of the Washington Wizards throws a no look pass against the Portland Trailblazers (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns’ reported decision to move on from their All-Star point guard Chris Paul sent shock waves around the NBA. It is still unclear whether the Point God will be waived or traded -a decision that needs to be made before Paul’s guarantee date of June 28- but the news already created ample trade speculations.

As fascinating as Chris Paul’s next destination is the question of who is replacing Paul as the Phoenix Suns’ starting point guard. Jake Fischer of the Yahoo! Sports named a list of guards that the Suns have been reportedly interested in. One name on this list is Washington Wizards’ point guard Monte Morris.

Monte Morris as a replacement for Chris Paul makes a lot of sense on Phoenix’s end. Morris is one of the steadiest, most consistent point guards in the league. He takes care of the ball, sets the table for the offense, and doesn’t take anything off-the-table on either end of the floor. With a team that has shot creators like Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, a point guard of Monte Morris’ playing style fits perfectly.

Moreover, Morris is on a very team-friendly contract, only making $9.8 million for the 2023-24 season. He shouldn’t be too expensive to re-sign next offseason if the Suns wanted to keep him around. This is especially important for a financially handicapped team like the Suns.

The main obstacle in front of a potential trade that sends Morris to Phoenix is the Suns’ lack of valuable assets. Not only does Phoenix only have six contracts on their books for next season, making contract matching very difficult, but they also don’t have enticing draft picks or young players.

Since Monte Morris is also the Wizards’ only true point guard, an offer to lure him away has to make sense for Washington to let go of their floor general. Phoenix has no first-round picks to offer, and the only players they can realistically offer for salary matching are Landry Shamet and Cam Payne. The only reasonable trade scenario that makes sense looks like this:

Is this enough for the Wizards to say goodbye to their starting point guard? Probably not.

If the Wizards end up drafting a point guard like Amen Thompson or Anthony Black, maybe it could make sense to open up more playing time for them. However, if they were to make Monte Morris available, they could potentially get a better package than what the Suns can potentially offer.

Phoenix’s own second-round picks are not very valuable since as contenders, their picks are most likely going to be at the end of the draft. Shamet could be a valuable piece for a rebuilding team with his floor spacing and off-ball gravity. But, he has three more years and $33 million left on his deal. For the Wizards, it is probably not the best use of cap space.

Despite Phoenix’s interest in Monte Morris, it is hard to see how a win-win trade for both teams can be constructed. Unless there is a better offer out there for him, it makes more sense to keep Morris around for the Wizards.