Monte Morris is a member of the Detroit Pistons now. On the first day of free agency, the Washington Wizards traded veteran point guard Monte Morris to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a 2027 second-round pick, according to James Edwards of the Athletic. This is certainly a tepid return for a capable point guard on a good contract.
The Washington Wizards front office clearly has a mandate to clear the books and gather as many future draft picks and assets as possible. They also want to open up playing time for their young players. So, it is understandable for the Wizards to move on from veteran players like Monte Morris, but the underwhelming return from him should have given them a pause.
Morris is an elite backup point guard who many teams could have used and potentially traded for during the season. He is on an expiring $9.8 million contract, so he would have certainly had a market at the trade deadline. It’s hard to imagine that Washington couldn’t have done better than a single second-round pick four years down the line.
If the Wizards weren’t receiving better offers, they could have still kept Morris and used him in their rotation. He would have been a solid vet and a mentor to the young players.
Moreover, the Washington Wizards owe two second-round picks to the Detroit Pistons in the 2024 and 2025 drafts. Considering that these draft picks will almost certainly be in the first half of the second round in both years, they are relatively valuable. The fact that the Wizards couldn’t get at least one of these picks back is extremely disappointing.
The Washington Wizards clearly prioritized not getting any salary back in the deal. They may have preferred the Pistons’ offer because they didn’t want to get any players back as they already have too many contracts on their books.
Still, one has to wonder whether the Wizards could have gotten a better deal if they were more patient.