In a pre-draft trade, the Celtics have acquired Kristaps Porzingis from the Washington Wizards in a three-team deal. The Memphis Grizzlies will send Tyus Jones to DC and (gulp) Marcus Smart is ticketed for Grind City. Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari will join Jones with the Wizards. Boston will also receive two first round picks from Memphis, the 25th pick in tomorrow’s draft and Golden State’s 2024 protected first round pick, and send the 35th pick to Washington.
Less than two hours before Porzingis’ player option deadline, the deal nearly fell apart. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Clippers backed out of a another rumored three-team deal because of concerns over Malcolm Brogdon’s health that would have also landed former Celtic Marcus Morris, Amir Coffey, and the 30th pick in DC.
With Al Horford entering Year 17 and 18 and Robert Williams averaging fewer than 50 games over the last three seasons, the addition of the 28-year-old Porzingis to the Celtics’ frontcourt makes sense. He’s coming off a career-year, playing 65 games and averaging 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per contest. Here are some promising stats from former CelticsBlogger and current Ringer, Kevin O’Connor:
Kristaps Porzingis stats from his career-best season:— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 21, 2023
Points Allowed Per Pick-and-Roll
1. Anthony Davis (0.91)
2. Steven Adams (0.92)
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (0.92)
4. Kristaps Porzingis (0.93)
5. Walker Kessler (0.93)
One of the best drop P&R defenders in the NBA. And on…
Porzingis will have an immediate impact in Boston next season, but tonight, the headline for fans is the Celtics parting ways with Marcus Smart. As the longest tenured Celtic who spent his entire nine-year career in Boston and absolutely represented Celtic Pride on and off the floor, this is a gut punch. Replacing his production is doable. Replacing the man, his leadership, his hustle, his everything seems impossible tonight. Love and trust. Always.
Today was the deadline for Porzingis to pick up his $36 million player option for next season. He’s expected to sign an extension in Boston and per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the maximum the Celtics could offer would be two-year, $77 million contract starting July 6th.
The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported earlier in the day that after landing Porzingis, the move most likely means that Grant Williams’ time in Boston is over. The Celtics could still offer him a qualifying offer after July 1st, but with rumored interest from several teams and a harsher CBA on the horizon, it would be difficult to match anything competitive. However, a sign-and-trade is still an option for Boston’s front office and now armed with the 25th pick tomorrow, things could get interesting with Malcolm Brogdon’s status up in the air, too.