The former All-Star center/forward was acquired by the C’s in a blockbuster Draft Night trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards.
Along with Porzingis (via Washington), the Celtics also acquired the No.. 25 pick in the 2023 draft (via Memphis) and a 2024 first-round pick (via Memphis, via Golden State).
Through a series of trades that have yet to be finalized, the C’s will turn the 25th pick into five second-round picks – the 38th pick in the 2023 draft, for which they acquired the draft rights to Arkansas forward Jordan Walsh as well as with four future selections.
The Wizards acquire Tyus Jones (via Memphis), Danilo Gallinari (via Boston), Mike Muscala (via Boston) and the No.. 35 pick in the 2023 draft (via Boston).. The Grizzlies received Boston’s largest token in the trade: 4,444 Marcus Smart.
The loss of Smart, the heart and soul of the team for the past nine seasons, was emotionally devastating and one of the most difficult decisions president of basketball operations, Brad Stevens, made.. ever given.. But from a business perspective, acquiring a player of Porzingis’ caliber is a big win for the Celtics.
The 7-foot-3 Latvian comes to Boston with eight years of NBA experience, with career averages of 19..6 points, 7..9 rebounds, 1..8 assists, 1, 8 blocks and 1..8 3-point assists per game.
He’s also coming off the best season of his career, including 23..2 PPG (career-high), 8..4 RPG, 2..7 APG (career-high), and 1..5 BPG, as well as 49..8% of on-field clip plays (career) -high) and 38..5 percent at long range.
His 65 games played represent his highest total since his 2016-17 sophomore season with the New York Knicks.
Ironically, his last game in a Wizards uniform was against the Celtics on March 28 when he led Washington to a 130-111 win with a 32 point, 13 rebound, 6 assist rating.. , 1 block, 1 robbery and 0.. sales.
“He’s getting better and better,” Stevens said of Porzingis in the wee hours of Friday morning after the draft ended.
“You look at what he’s done this year, and I think the games we played against him and the games I watched with the most intent against other teams, I think he really stepped up one more step.. He was already good, but he just took it one step further.
His suburban stats aside, Porzingis’ playing style would be a great fit for this Celtics roster.
On one hand, he would bolster Boston’s previously fragile frontcourt by providing support alongside Al Horford and Rob Williams.. He can be paired in a dual squad with either of these two, or he can play a 5-man squad independently.
Offensively, Porzingis has the ability to score from anywhere on the court and has the potential to be a top 20 PPG big man.. which the Celtics have had for a while.. He was the league’s leading scorer last season per possession, and ranked second among 7-footers in 3-pointers made (137).
“We haven’t posted much this year,” Stevens said, “but being able to throw the ball in the post and shoot through a changeup and do it effectively and efficiently is a big deal, yet including being able to play behind the line, shoot the ball or drive it or things like that.. He brings a lot to our team.
Porzingis’ ability to space the floor could allow him to create a deadly pick-and-pop combo with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and he can play his game without stepping their feet and go too deep into their point making process.
It would be helpful to have another star scorer on the field when one or both Jays are on the bench..
Porzingis is not only one of the best scorers on the rim, but also one of the best defenders of it.. He has blocked more than 100 shots in five of his seven seasons (he missed the 2018-19 season with an ACL tear), using his agility and size to get after pucks.
players go to the basket and change their shots.. He was also the 4th ranked pick-and-roll defender in the NBA last season behind Anthony Davis, Steven Adams and Giannis Antetokounmpo.. And he finished in the 99th percentile in points saved and defensive field goal percentage relative to expectations.
The timing of this trade couldn’t be more perfect because, as his last season showed, Porzingis may just be starting to peak.. He’s only 27 years old, so his best years may still be ahead of him.
With Porzingis joining Brown, 26, and Tatum, 25, the Celtics now have a legitimate trio of stars about to enter their respective primes..
Now this is truly a fantasy come true..