The New Orleans Pelicans have made a trade! Not the one everyone is waiting on them to make, but they have made a move before the deadline nonetheless.
While the league continues to wait on any kind of movement on the Anthony Davis front, the Pelicans are seeking out smaller moves to make around that to position themselves in an Anthony Davis-less future. The Wizards, meanwhile, are in full on sell mode with an eye towards getting under the luxury tax line and also creating some space for next summer, dealing Otto Porter to the Bulls.
On Wednesday night, those two sides came together to make a deal that sends Markieff Morris and his expiring deal to New Orleans for Wesley Johnson, helping Washington get out of the luxury tax in the process.
Morris makes $8.6 million this year, compared to the $6.1 million made by Johnson, which does just enough to pull Washington out of the tax. The forward is recovering from a neck injury but based on the initial timetable could be back relatively soon and could provide frontcourt insurance if the Pelicans choose to move Nikola Mirotic or Julius Randle by tomorrow afternoon.
The Wizards seem to be resigned to their fate this season and are clearly planning on executing at least a minor rebuild this summer around Bradley Beal while they await the return of John Wall from his ruptured Achilles — although it’s possible he misses all of next season too.