Trade No. 2: Kristaps Porzingis to the Trail Blazers
The Washington Wizards have been absolutely abysmal in the draft in recent years, and they tend to lack judgment in re-signing their own players. Where they have excelled, however, is on the trade market, and that includes trading for Kristaps Porzingis at the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline.
Porzingis had a career year last season, staying healthy and scoring 23.2 points per game with 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 2.1 3-pointers per game. He reached true “Unicorn” status and looks in line for a big payday this summer.
If at all possible, the Wizards need to avoid being the ones to pay that. Porzingis is going to be expensive and injury-prone, and that’s a bad combination for a rebuilding team. Thankfully, Porzingis is likely to have more suitors after the year he just had, and there are a number of sign-and-trade options to consider.
In this deal, the Portland Trail Blazers would finally find a solution at center, with Porzingis and Damian Lillard a formidable one-two punch on offense, especially with Jerami Grant returning at power forward. Delon Wright replaces Gary Payton II as a backcourt defender and Anfernee Simons as a backup ball-handler.
The Wizards get Simons, a dynamic young scoring guard who can be a part of the new, young core they are looking to build. Add in the negative salary of Jusuf Nurkic and it’s enough for the Wizards to get a bump on their first-round pick, going up from eighth to third. That would put players such as Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller and Cam Whitmore into play.