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Kristaps Porzingis to Celtics, Marcus Smart to Grizzlies in 3-team deal

Kristaps Porzingis, Marcus Smart and Tyus Jones headline the blockbuster trade between the Celtics, Wizards and Grizzlies.

Kristaps Porzingis averaged a career-high 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks in 65 games for the Wizards this past season.

The Washington Wizards’ offseason of change keeps chugging along as another key player is on his way out. Kristaps Porzingis will be dealt to the Boston Celtics as a part of a three-team deal, the team announced.

Porzingis agreed to opt into his deal before being dealt to Boston, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As a part of the deal, the Washington Wizards would receive Tyus Jones from the Memphis Grizzlies and Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala from the Celtics.

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, would receive Marcus Smart from the Celtics while sending their 25th pick in this year’s Draft and a 2024 first-round pick via the Golden State Warriors to the Celtics.

Celtics receive: 

  • Kristaps Porzingis (via Wizards)
  • No. 25 pick in 2023 Draft (via Grizzlies)
  • 2024 first-round pick (top-four protected, via Warriors)

Grizzlies receive:

  • Marcus Smart (via Celtics)

Wizards receive: 

  • Tyus Jones (via Grizzlies)
  • Danilo Gallinari (via Celtics)
  • Mike Muscala (via Celtics)
  • No. 35 pick in 2023 Draft (via Celtics)

Last season, Porzingis averaged 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in 32.6 minutes per game. He played in 65 games — his most since a 66-game run with the New York Knicks in 2016-17 — and was healthy after a variety of injuries sapped him of consistency over the past three seasons.

On Thursday, Porzingis posted a farewell message on his Twitter account that read: “Saying goodbye is always tough. Wizards org, my teammates, staff, coaches, everyone at Capital One and the facility thank you! Going to miss yall! Wiz Fans!! Thank you for showing me so much support, I truly appreciate it and enjoyed every night playing in front of you. Wishing you all success as I embark on the next chapter of my career.”

The deal with Boston capped a day in which Porzingis was reportedly headed to the Celtics, but in a trade involving the LA Clippers and Wizards. In that reported trade, Malcolm Brogdon would have went to the LA Clippers, the Wizards would have gotten the 30th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and Porzingis would have went to the Celtics. When those talks fell apart, Boston pivoted to its deal with Memphis.

Boston becomes Porzingis’ fourth NBA team. Drafted in 2015 by New York with the fourth overall pick, he played three seasons with the Knicks before being traded to Dallas before the deadline in 2019 — when he was recovering from knee surgery. The Wizards acquired him from Dallas 16 months ago.

Porzingis will join a talented Boston core that includes Brogdon, All-NBA performers Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, shot-blocking center Robert Williams, veteran big man Al Horford and more.

The 24-year-old Tatum is signed for the next two seasons, still under his rookie extension that kicked in last season. He won’t be eligible for a supermax extension until the summer of 2024. It would start in 2025-26 and could be worth more than $300 million.

Brown, 26, is eligible for a new deal this offseason, and by virtue of making the All-NBA second team this season could be offered as much as a five-year contract extension worth as much as $295 million.

The Celtics’ frontline for next season is already a bit thinned. Defensive specialist Grant Williams had offseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand. He is a restricted free agent and could leave this summer. He averaged career highs in minutes (25.9), points (8.1) and rebounds (4.6) during the regular season. But each of those numbers fell during the playoffs as he slipped in and out of the rotation.

Smart, 29, had played all nine NBA seasons with the Celtics, earning a reputation for hard-nosed defense and fierce leadership, collecting 2022 Kia Defensive Player of the Year hardware, a trio of NBA Hustle awards (’19,  ’22-23) and three All-Defensive 1st Team honors (’19-20, ’22).

He was the longest-tenured player on the Celtics and ranks fourth on the franchise’s career lists for 3-pointers (911) and assists (2,700). He also His departure leaves the Celtics with Derrick White and Brogdon, the reigning Kia Sixth Man of the Year, as the top two candidates to replace Smart.

Last season, he averaged 11.5 ppg — shooting 41.5% overall and 33.6% from deep — and a career-high 6.3 apg. He offers the Grizzlies a steady hand to manage the point during Ja Morant’s 25-game minimum suspension to open the season. He also brings postseason experience to the Grizzlies, who haven’t been able to win one playoff series despite finishing second in the West the past two seasons.

Jones, 27, has been regarded as one of the league’s best backups. He turned in a career-high campaign during the 2022-23 season, setting highs in points (10.3), assists (5.2) and minutes (24.3) across 80 games. The move to rebuilding Washington offers the chance to show he’s ready for a leading role.

Porzingis’ move to Boston comes just days after the Wizards reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade that will send former All-Star guard Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns. In that reported swap, the Wizards get back former All-Star guard Chris Paul as well as guard Landry Shamet, forward Isaiah Todd and multiple future second-round picks.

Additionally, Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma reportedly opted out of his deal this week and may leave via free agency.

Gallinari was injured all of last season, but is a reliable scorer and outside shooter and joins a Wizards frontcourt that currently includes Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford. In his last healthy season (2021-22 with the Atlanta Hawks), Gallinari averaged 11.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.5 apg. Muscala was dealt from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Celtics at the trade deadline last season, averaging 5.9 ppg and 3.4 rpg in 20 games. However, he fell out of Boston’s rotation in the playoffs. 

Washington began its offseason by firing GM Tommy Sheppard in mid-April after the team missed the playoffs and the AT&T Play-In Tournament. A month later, the team hired former Clippers general manager Michael Winger as President of Monumental Basketball.

The Wizards, who last won an NBA championship in 1978, missed the playoffs the last two seasons with 35-47 records and haven’t advanced past the first round since 2016-17. Washington now has four picks in the 2023 NBA Draft: No. 8, No. 35, No. 42 and No. 57.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.