Former NBA star thinks Kristaps Porzingis played his best ball with the Wizards

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards
Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

JJ Redick is making the most of his time in retirement. His podcast, “The Old Man and the Three” is blowing up. On his latest episode, he had Kristaps Porzingis as a guest. Redick and Porzingis played together in Dallas, which they talked about, but they also touched on his new team the Boston Celtics, his tenure with the Knicks, and his brief stop in Washington. Despite dealing with many injuries during his career, Porzingis has always been a productive player. 

Redick thinks KP had the best season of his career in DC, putting up a career-high 23 points per game. Porzingis talked about how in Dallas, playing alongside Luka Dončić, he didn’t get a lot of touches on the offensive end. As an offensive player, you want to feel engaged on the offensive side, and it will affect your overall play. It didn’t help that Porzingis was coming off a major injury, so he was trying to find his rhythm.

The former teammates also talked about how it was a notion that Porzingis may be soft and not living up to his potential. But that changed when he was moved to the Washington Wizards via a trade

Playing alongside Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma who are both willing passers, Porzingis thrived and shot close to 50% shooting from the field (49.8), which was also a career-high at the time. He posted an offensive win share rating of 5.0 and an overall win share total of 7.7, which are both career-highs. His true shooting percentage was .627, another career-high.

Redick mentioned that Porzingis was second in the league last season in points per direct post-up. In fact, the Wizards scored 125.3 points per 100 plays when KP posted up. That metric was third in the league for all players who got at least two post touches a game. In addition to all those statistical improvements, he also scored a career-high 43 points. The difference in his game was visible to anyone who watched the Wizards games last season. He seemed more aggressive, hunting for shots, looking to make plays at both ends of the game, and overall playing with a joy that it didn’t seem like he had since his New York days. 

Redick talked about how people didn’t notice that Porzingis had his best season last year because of the lack of attention that was given to the Wizards. Due to the losing situation, he was overlooked and probably should have been an all-star. The franchise hasn’t had an all-star player since Beal in 2020-21. KP’s type of game from the center position is something the Wizards haven’t had since the 90s when Chris Webber was there. Most Wizards fans wish they had Porzingis for longer and wish him all the best in Boston.