Celtics Secure Game-Changer: Kristaps Porzingis Joins in Blockbuster Trade, NBA Trades


Celtics acquire Kristaps Porzingis, send Marcus Smart to Memphis in  three-team deal - CelticsBlog
Celtics acquire Kristaps Porzingis, send Marcus Smart to Memphis in a three-team deal 

The Boston Celtics made a startling choice on Wednesday, allegedly trading Marcus Smart, the self-proclaimed "heart and soul" of their club, in a blockbuster deal that netted them Kristaps Porzingis from the Washington Wizards. The deal came together at the eleventh hour after an earlier version involving Malcolm Brogdon and the Los Angeles Clippers fell through due to medical concerns, and while the Celtics are obviously thrilled to have gotten their target, fans of the team are already mourning the loss of their leader.

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Tyus Jones will join the Wizards, who will acquire Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and the 35th selection in the NBA Draft on Thursday. Memphis will also provide Boston with first-round picks in 2023 (the 25th pick on Thursday) and 2024. Porzingis joined the Mavericks in 2019 and signed a five-year, $158 million contract before being transferred to the Wizards in 2021.

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Since returning from his ACL injury, Porzingis has enjoyed perhaps his greatest and healthiest season. Before being shut down at the conclusion of the season, he only missed 11 games. He performed at an All-Star level, and the Celtics will now always have a strong rim protector on the court. Following the deal on July 6, he will be available for an extension of up to two years. He may also wait six months for his trade restriction to expire before extending it for up to four years.

Porzingis, who turns 28 on Aug. 2, averaged 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 65 games for the Wizards last season.

Smart, the Defensive Player of the Year in 2021-22, will offer the Grizzlies with great defence and seasoned leadership for a youthful club that finished second in the Western Conference last season. He will also be eligible to start as point guard when Ja Morant is suspended for 25 games.

The transaction meets multiple goals for the Celtics, who are coming off a heartbreaking Eastern Conference finals defeat to the Miami Heat. The Celtics were apparently seeking for a solution to break up their backcourt stalemate, and this move allows for a guard rotation of Brogdon, Derrick White, and Payton Pritchard. It would have also strengthened their front line, which is crucial given that Grant Williams is a restricted free agent, Robert Williams III has durability issues, and Al Horford recently turned 37.

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The Celtics and Wizards appeared to be devoted to making some type of agreement happen. When the Clippers were removed from the equation, they were able to rapidly identify an alternative. Now that the Celtics have their big man, Memphis has jumped in to add a key element to its own lineup.




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