A few hours after a three-team deal fell through and Washington Wizards Kristaps Porziņģis’ player option was up against the deadline, the Boston Celtics were finally able to upgrade their big man … and say goodbye to Marcus Smart.
The trade includes Porziņģis, the 25th pick in Thursday’s draft, and a 2024 first-round pick (via Golden State) going to Boston; Smart to go to Memphis Grizzlies; And the Wizards, who will add Theus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala and the 35th pick in Thursday’s draft.
Earlier in the day, Porchesis was thought to be going to Boston, Malcolm Brockton was going to the Clippers and Washington was getting Marcus Morris Sr. and the 30th pick in the draft. The trade fell through, and is believed to be over Brockton’s injury, first reported by NBA reporter Marc Stein.
ESPN and The Boston Globe first reported details of the renewed three-team deal.
Now that the dust has settled (we think), let’s get rid of the red ink!
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Boston Celtics Kristaps Porzingis, 25th pick in 2023 and first round pick in 2024
What are the Celtics’ plans for Porziņģis? That was my initial thought when I saw this trade news. Is it a short play, Or let’s look at an extension Could take a pay cut after this season but give him long-term security? There’s a lot of potential for Porchassis to fit in the frontcourt, but we often feel that way with Porchassis. He’s very tall, has a great wingspan, he’s very fast, and he’s exceptionally talented for a 7-foot-3 man.
Check out his numbers after leaving Dallas. In 82 games with the Wizards, Porzingis averaged 22.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks on a 49.3/38.2/85.5 shooting split. That’s good for 62.2 percent true shooting. It’s incredibly efficient. He’s turned into a pretty solid rebounder, he can guard some guys, and he has a great outside shot.
It’s not hard to match what the Celtics are doing. Al Horford (37) can take a step back in the rotation if needed, or play alongside Borzikis in Robert Williams III’s absence. They could bring Porsishis off the bench as a super sixth man next to Brockton.
They can run the offense with him on the second unit, or he can play third fiddle to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He can camp in the corner and spread the floor. And defensively, as long as he takes the physical toll of being in a pretty tough and dynamic defensive system, he can be a good rim-protector.
The Celtics have options as long as Porziņģis stays healthy, and that’s the part that worries you. From 2017 to 2019, Bourges missed 95 games over four seasons with an ACL injury that spanned more than 100 games. It’s missed a lot of time. That’s a risk you can take with the depth the Celtics have, even if it’s a $36 million one-year rental.
The fact that they moved up 10 spots in this draft and got a first round pick in next year’s draft is pretty ridiculous.
The Memphis Grizzlies acquired Marcus Smart
With Jones out, the Grizzlies have done themselves well, knowing Ja Morant will miss the first 25 games of next season. Keep in mind that Dillon Brooks won’t be back under any circumstances, so the Grizzlies needed some help in the backcourt. Smart is a great upgrade at the guard position, especially once Morant returns. He can be a dog defensively, but not in a way that hurts the team.
Smart is a solid offensive option who can run pick-and-rolls. He can run whatever Memphis wants him to do in Morant’s absence, and then easily play next to him when things get back to normal. Giving up their first-round pick and a future pick along with Jones hurts, but the Grizzlies have a chance to be more stable when the dust settles. Smart has three years left on his contract, so they’re not in danger of losing him anytime soon.
They gave up a lot, but it’s still a solid trade.
Washington Wizards acquire Deuce Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala with 35th pick in 2023 draft
I absolutely hated what the Wizards did in trading Bradley Beal. I had no problem transferring him, but the return was great. They just have to pray that things fall apart whenever Big Swaps gets in the mix for them and Phoenix. Or they could grab a decent player with the second round picks they got.
The agreement is technically sound but still confusing. I liked it better back in the day when it looked like Washington was getting the 30th pick from LA, but we’ll dig into that.
Jones is an interesting pickup, and the Wizards get the 35th pick in the draft. They don’t know they’re allowed to ask for first-round picks in trades. Jones is arguably the best backup point guard in basketball, and there were some whispers last month that he might want to take the opportunity to start in Memphis. He’ll get that opportunity with the Wizards because he immediately becomes the best point guard on the roster (assuming Chris Paul gets traded). No offense to top backup Monte Morris.
Jones is smart about running a team: more assists, fewer turnovers, and he can score a little too. He’s competitive on defense, but he’s undersized. He’s going to be a good player as long as he stays with the Wizards, but he could be a movable asset at the trade deadline. He has one year left on his contract and is then a free agent. Regardless of contract or no-trade terms, I still don’t understand how the Wizards acquired zero first-round picks (not counting transfers) by trading their two best players. If Jones leaves next summer or they don’t trade him, this could turn out to be a bad trade for them. It doesn’t make sense to get the picks the Boston Wizards should have.
King: Analyzing the pros and cons for Boston
Weiss: Celtics need to find a new identity after smart trade
Robbins: After trading Porziņģis, the Wizards’ plan becomes clear
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(Photo of Kristaps Porziņģis and Marcus Smart: Nick Grace/Getty Images)