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Wizards trade Markieff Morris to New Orleans Pelicans for Wesley Johnson, according to report

Portland Trail Blazers v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The Wizards are trading Markieff Morris and their 2023 second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans for Wesley Johnson, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and David Aldridge. The move, coupled with their move to ship Otto Porter to the Bulls, gets Washington completely out of the luxury tax this season and ensures they won’t be subject to the repeater tax next season.

Morris was the easiest target to get out of the tax. His status is still up in the air after injuring his neck last month, and it was hard to see a role for him next season with the Wizards looking to get younger and retool next season. Giving up a second round pick, on top of the other two the Wizards dealt this season to shed Jason Smith and Jodie Meeks’ salaries, is a tough pill to swallow.

What’s worse is that there may have been an option to shed that salary without giving up that pick. The Lakers have coveted Trevor Ariza all season long, and they could have offered more savings in a swap for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. However, it appears Washington is set on keeping Ariza around beyond this season.

In the meantime, Johnson should provide some extra depth on the wing now that Porter is gone. He started 13 games with the Pelicans this season and is shooting 38 percent from deep. However, he fell out of the rotation over the last two months. He’s only played seven minutes combined in January and February.

UPDATE: ESPN’s Bobby Marks is reporting the Wizards used John Wall’s Disabled Player Exception to facilitate the deal.