The fire sale in Washington is continuing, with the latest Wizard on the move being Kristaps Porzingis. The reporting suggests that the Latvian big man is headed to Boston.
Porzingis’ deadline to make a decision on his player option is today, so there was an incentive for all sides to get this trade done as soon as possible. For this trade to go through, Porzingis had to opt-in to his $36 million option for next season, with a possibility to extend.
Due to Porzingis’ high salary, the Wizards need to take back multiple players for salary-matching purposes. According to the reporting, Marcus Morris and Danilo Gallinari are likely to be the main pieces coming to Washington. To make the math work, the Wizards are also acquiring Amir Coffey from the Clippers.
The Wizards get two expiring contracts in Morris and Gallinari. They could flip them at the trade deadline, or let their contracts expire to open up cap space. They get a developmental piece in Coffey, a stringy 26-year-old wing who the Wizards will see if he can be a rotation-level player.
However, the most important piece of the deal for the Wizards is the draft compensation. The Clippers are also sending the no.30 pick in tomorrow’s draft to Washington. Now, the Wizards have two first-round picks in the draft with a chance to add two long-term prospects.
The Wizards could get extra picks from the Celtics as well depending on how each side values the assets in the deal.
While both Boston and LA get important rotation pieces in the trade, the Wizards mostly get expiring contracts and future assets.
It is disappointing for the Wizards to not net a better first-round pick or a better young asset. Getting the last pick of the first round and Amir Coffey is an underwhelming return. The Wizards could have gotten the Clippers’ 2028 first-rounder instead or received Bones Hyland, Brandon Boston, or Jason Preston, all prospects with higher upside than Coffey.
It is understandable that the Wizards want to hit rock bottom and kick-start their rebuild as soon as possible, but a meager return like this makes you wonder if there could have been a better package out there if they held onto Porzingis until the trade deadline, or retained him for longer.