One of the defining traits of the Washington Wizards as an organization is holding onto players far longer than they should have. They held onto Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter Jr long after each of them should have been moved. Now, the Kristaps Porzingis trade may signify a major change in that department.
Since he initially tore his ACL back in 2018, Porzingis has struggled to maintain any sort of consistency, both in his production on the floor and in his health. This caused his trade value to sharply decline during his time with the Dallas Mavericks.
However, once he joined the Wizards, things started to change for the seven-foot-three forward. Once he landed in DC, Porzingis was able to stay on the court consistently. This last season saw him put up the most games played in a season since his sophomore campaign.
This caused his trade value to skyrocket as his abilities with a basketball are undeniable. If he can replicate his health with the Wizards on another team, he could be a major contributor to a championship caliber team.
The health of Kristaps Porzingis did not last long after leaving the Washington Wizards
Just over a month after the Boston Celtics traded for the Latvian big man, he is already struggling to stay healthy. Kristaps Porzingis recently announced that he is not competing in the FIBA World Cup because he’s injured.
He was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, an injury in his heel. While this in a vacuum wouldn’t be a problem, players who share Porzingis’ size have been plagued with foot and knee injuries, usually forcing them to retire. Not only that, but he already has an extensive history of problems in his lower body.
While he should make a full recovery before the beginning of the season, it’s still a bad sign for things to come for the Celtics that he is facing injuries before playing a single game for them. Obviously, this is a concern for a team trying to win a championship.
The Washington Wizards’ new front office made the right move at the right time
That’s a sentence that Wizards fans probably haven’t read in a long time. Will Dawkins and company have already shown boat loads of potential to lead this franchise to new heights. This trade is just another notch on the belt.
The Wizards received Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and the 35th overall pick (later traded to the Chicago Bulls for two future second-round picks) for Porzingis.
While many fans will still criticize the return they received for the big man, Porzingis never had any trade value during his time with the Wizards. Shipping him off now was very likely to be the highest return they would get for him, especially considering the fact that they already made it clear that tanking was the goal by trading Bradley Beal a week prior.
On top of this, the trade market this summer has not been kind to the selling teams. Front offices are less willing to give up picks than they were last season and many of the teams who are interested in trading for stars don’t have much draft capital left to trade to begin with.
This is made apparent by not only the small return that the Wizards got on both Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, but also the fact that Damian Lillard and James Harden are both still sitting. Trading away a player who doesn’t want to be there and is holding back the team from a future goal is a win in and of itself, something the front office clearly understands.
Many fans of the Washington Wizards were left enraged about the Kristaps Porzingis trade when it happened. However, with the context of the rest of his career, the current trade market, and his most recent injury, it is clear that the Wiz made the right decision.