The Washington Wizards’ offseason of change continues to chug along as another key player is on his way out. Kristaps Porzingis will be dealt to the Boston Celtics as part of a three-team deal, the team announced.
Porzingis agreed to sign up to his deal before being dealt to Boston, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As part of the deal, the Washington Wizards would receive Tyus Jones from the Memphis Grizzlies and Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala from the Celtics.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, would receive Marcus Smart from the Celtics while sending their 25th pick in this year’s Draft and a 2024 first-round pick via the Golden State Warriors to the Celtics.
- Kristaps Porzingis (via Wizards)
- Pick No. 25 in 2023 Draft (via Grizzlies)
- 2024 first-round pick (top-four protected, via Warriors)
- Marcus Smart (via Celtics)
- Tyus Jones (via Grizzlies)
- Danilo Gallinari (via Celtics)
- Mike Muscala (via Celtics)
- Pick No. 35 in 2023 Draft (via Celtics)
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) 23 June 2023
Official: We have acquired Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala.
Read more ⤵️https://t.co/OKlxs9yWUm
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) 23 June 2023
Last season, Porzingis averaged 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in 32.6 minutes per game. He played in 65 games — his most since a 66-game run with the New York Knicks in 2016-17 — and was healthy after a series of injuries sapped him of consistency over the past three seasons.
On Thursday, Porzingis sent a farewell message on his Twitter account, which read: “Ssaying goodbye is always hard. Wizards org, my teammates, staff, coaches, everyone at Capital One and the facility thank you! Gonna miss you guys! Wiz fans!! Thank you for showing me so much support, I really appreciate it and enjoyed every night playing in front of you. I wish you all the best of luck as I embark on the next chapter of my career.”
saying goodbye is always hard.
Wizards org, my teammates, staff, coaches, everyone at the capital and the facility thank you! Gonna miss you guys!
Wiz fans!! Thank you for showing me so much support, I really appreciate it and looked forward to every night playing in front of you. Wishes…
— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) 22 June 2023
☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️ lets goooo
— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) 22 June 2023
The deal with Boston capped a day when Porzingis was reportedly headed to the Celtics, but in a trade involving the LA Clippers and Wizards. In the reported trade, Malcolm Brogdon would have gone to the LA Clippers, the Wizards would have gotten the 30th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and Porzingis would have gone to the Celtics. When those negotiations fell apart, Boston reneged on its deal with Memphis.
Boston will be Porzingis’ fourth NBA team. Drafted in 2015 by New York with the fourth overall pick, he played three seasons with the Knicks before being traded to Dallas before the 2019 deadline — recovering from knee surgery. The Wizards acquired him from Dallas 16 months ago.
Porzingis will join a talented Boston core that includes Brogdon, NBA players Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, shot-blocking center Robert Williams, veteran Al Horford and more.
The 24-year-old Tatum is signed for the next two seasons, still under his rookie extension that started last season. He won’t be eligible for a supermax extension until the summer of 2024. That would start in 2025-26 and could be worth more than $300 million.
Brown, 26, is eligible for a new deal this offseason, and by virtue of making the All-NBA second team this season, he could be offered as much as a five-year contract extension worth as much as $295 million.
The Celtics’ front line for next season is already a bit thinned out. Defensive specialist Grant Williams had offseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand. He is a restricted free agent and can leave this summer. He averaged career highs in minutes (25.9), points (8.1) and rebounds (4.6) during the regular season. But each of those numbers dropped during the playoffs as he slipped in and out of the rotation.
Smart, 29, had played all nine NBA seasons with the Celtics and earned a reputation for tough defense and fierce leadership, collecting 2022 Kia Defensive Player of the Year hardware, a trio of NBA Hustle awards (’19, ’22-23 ) ) and three All-Defensive 1st Team honors (’19-20, ’22).
He was the longest tenured player on the Celtics and is fourth on the franchise’s career lists for 3-pointers (911) and assists (2,700). His departure leaves the Celtics with Derrick White and Brogdon, the reigning Kia Sixth Man of the Year, as the top two candidates to replace Smart.
Last season he averaged 11.5 ppg – shooting 41.5% overall and 33.6% from deep – and a career high 6.3 apg. He offers the Grizzlies a steady hand to handle the point during Ja Morant’s 25-game minimum suspension to open the season. He also brings postseason experience to the Grizzlies, who have been unable to win a playoff series despite finishing second in the West the past two seasons.
Jones, 27, has been considered one of the league’s best backups. He delivered a career-high campaign during the 2022-23 season, setting highs in points (10.3), assists (5.2) and minutes (24.3) in 80 games. The move to rebuild Washington offers the chance to show he’s ready for a starring role.
Porzingis’ move to Boston comes just days after the Wizards reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade that will send former All-Star guard Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns. In the reported trade, the Wizards get back former All-Star guard Chris Paul as well as guard Landry Shamet, forward Isaiah Todd and several future second-round picks.
In addition, Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma reportedly opted out of his deal this week and could leave via free agency.
Gallinari was injured all of last season, but is a reliable scorer and outside shooter, joining a Wizards frontcourt that currently includes Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford. In his last healthy season (2021-2022 with the Atlanta Hawks), Gallinari averaged 11.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.5 apg. Muscala was dealt from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Celtics at the trade deadline last season, averaging 5.9 ppg and 3.4 rpg in 20 games. However, he fell out of Boston’s rotation in the playoffs.
Washington began its offseason by firing GM Tommy Sheppard in mid-April after the team missed the playoffs and the AT&T Play-In Tournament. A month later, the team hired former Clippers general manager Michael Winger as president of Monumental Basketball.
The Wizards, who last won an NBA championship in 1978, missed the playoffs the past two seasons with 35-47 records and haven’t advanced past the first round since 2016-17. Washington now has four picks in the 2023 NBA Draft: No. 8, No. 35, No. 42 and No. 57.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.