Just hours after one three-team deal collapsed and the Washington Wizards were facing player option deadline Kristaps Borze, the Boston Celtics finally got the big man promoted…and Marcus Smart bye.
This trade has Porziņģis, the 25th pick in Thursday’s draft and a 2024 first-round pick (via Golden State) headed to Boston; going smart to the Memphis Grizzlies; And the Wizards added Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala and the 35th pick in Thursday’s draft.
Earlier in the day, the thinking was that Porziis was headed to Boston, as Malcolm Brogdon went to the Clippers and Washington received Marcus Morris Sr. and the 30th pick in the draft. The trade collapsed, believed to have outgrown Brogdon’s injury status, NBA reporter Mark Stein first reported.
ESPN and The Boston Globe first reported details of the three renewed deals.
Now that the dust has settled (we think), let’s get the red ink out!
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The Boston Celtics acquired Kristaps Porcingis, a 25th overall 2023 draft pick and a 2024 first-round pick
What are the Celtics’ plans for Porziņģis? This was my initial thought when it came to seeing this trading news. Is this a short term play, Or will we see an extension? Offered to take a pay cut after this season but give him long-term security? Porziņģis’ fit in the frontcourt has a lot of potential, but we feel that way mostly with Porziņģis. He is extremely tall, has a great wingspan, is very intelligent, and exceptionally dexterous for a 7-foot-3 man.
Look at his numbers after leaving Dallas. In 82 games with the Wizards, Porcingis averaged 22.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks with 49.3/38.2/85.5 shooting splits. That’s good for a true shooting ratio of 62.2 percent. This is incredibly effective. He’s become a very strong rebel, can protect some, and has a great outside shot.
It’s not hard to fit that into what the Celtics do. This means Al Horford (37) can drop back into the rotation if needed, or he can play alongside Porziņģis when Robert Williams III isn’t available. They could also bring Porziņģis off the bench as a great sixth man next to Brogdon.
They can run the offense through him in the second unit, or he can play third fiddle to Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown as a competent selection option. He can camp in the corner and spread the floor. And defensively, he can be a nice presence to protect the edge as long as he can take the physical toll of being in a very strong and active defensive system.
The Celtics have options, as long as Porziņģis is healthy, and that’s the part that might worry you. Since the anterior cruciate ligament injury that cost him over 100 games from 2017 to 2019, Borzies has missed 95 games in four seasons. That’s a lot of wasted time. On a one-year lease, even at $36 million, it’s a risk to take with the Celtics’ depth.
That they made a 10-point upgrade in this draft and earned a first-round pick in next year’s draft is absolutely ridiculous.
Memphis Grizzlies acquired Marcus Smart
With Jones about to be sidelined and the Grizzlies aware Ja Morant will miss the first 25 games of next season, they’ve done pretty well for themselves. Remember, Dillon Brooks will not be back under any circumstances, so the Grizzlies needed some backcourt help. Smart is a great upgrade in the guard position, especially now that Morant is back. He can be a defensive dog but not in a way that will cause him to hurt the team.
Smart is a solid offensive option who can power pick-and-roll games. He can play whatever Memphis want to do while Morant is gone, then easily play alongside him when everything is back to normal. It hurts to give up their first-round pick and future pick along with Jones, but the Grizzlies have a chance to be a little more stable when the dust settles. Smart has three more years on his contract, so they’re not in danger of losing him anytime soon.
They give up a lot, but this is still solid business.
The Washington Wizards acquired Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala, 35th pick in the 2023 draft
I absolutely hated what the Wizards did by agreeing to trade Bradley Bell. I had no problem with the decision to transfer him, but the return was sub-par at best. They should pray things fall apart when choice trade-offs come into the mix for them and Phoenix. Or maybe they’ll grab a decent player with their second round picks.
This deal is technically better but still confusing. I liked it better earlier in the day when it looked like Washington would get the 30th pick from Los Angeles, but let’s examine.
Jones is an interesting pickup, and the Wizards get the 35th pick in the draft. They may not know that they are allowed to ask for first round picks in trades. Jones is arguably the best backup guard in basketball, and there were some whispers last month that he might have wanted to transfer from Memphis for a starting chance. He’d get that chance with the Wizards because he instantly became the best point guard on the roster (let’s say Chris Paul moved on). No offense to Monte Morris, which is an excellent reserve.
Jones is adept at running a team: high passes, low tackles, and he can score a few, too. He competes on defense, but is undersized. He’d be a nice player for the Wizards for as long as they have them, but he could be a transferable asset by the trade deadline. He has one year left on his deal, after which he becomes a free agent. I still don’t understand how the Wizards got zero first-round picks (swaps not counting) by trading their two best players, regardless of contract states or the no-trade clause. If Jones leaves next summer or they don’t trade him, that will become an even worse deal for them. Boston getting the shots the Wizards should have received doesn’t make sense.
king: Analyze the pros and cons of Boston
Weiss: After trading smartly, the Celtics must find a new identity
Robbins: The wizards’ plan becomes clearer after Porziņģis deliberates
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(Photo by Kristaps Porziņģis and Marcus Smart: Nick Grace/Getty Images)
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