Wizards trade Harrell to Hornets, get Ish Smith back

Montrezl Harrell

The Wizards got their busy NBA trade deadline started Thursday by trading center Montrezl Harrell to the Charlotte Hornets for point guard Ish Smith and center Vernon Carey Jr.

Harrell, 28, is on an expiring contract that the Wizards inherited when they acquired him from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Russell Westbrook trade last offseason. The veteran big man had since been a major force off the bench for Washington, averaging 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds across 46 games for the Wizards.

He now joins a Hornets team averaging 44.4 rebounds per game, 18th in the NBA. Charlotte is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference at 28-28, two-and-a-half games up on the Wizards (24-29), who are 11th. 

In return for Harrell, the Wizards re-acquire Smith, who played for the team each of the last two seasons. Smith has one year remaining on the two-year, $9.225 million contract he signed with the Hornets. He'll have a path to playing time in Washington following the trade of Aaron Holiday to the Phoenix Suns.

Joining Smith in D.C. will be Carey, a 20-year-old selected in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft out of Duke. Carey has appeared in just four games for the Hornets this season and four for their G League affiliate Greensboro Swarm. He'll factor into the Wizards' deep frontcourt rotation, which now has some minutes available after Harrell was traded.

The biggest move of the day for the Wizards was a trade for former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.