4 ideal Kristaps Porzingis trade scenarios from Washington Wizards

After years of internal debates, the Washington Wizards are finally pushing the reset button by trading Bradley Beal, the face of the franchise. Could fellow All-Star Kristaps Porzingis be the next Wizards player to go?

The 7-foot-3 skilled big is set to turn 28 in August and has a player option for $36 million to decide on by June 21. If Porzingis opts in, he’ll immediately become a top trade chip for first-year team president Michael Winger as the Wizards likely further their rebuilding effort, finding pieces who fit their next competitive timeline.

But which teams are a fair trade fit for the former fourth overall pick? We broke down four potential Porzingis trade scenarios to ponder this summer.

Related: 50 Best NBA players of 2023: Bradley Beal gives the Suns three of the top 20

Detroit Pistons make push for contention

4 ideal Kristaps Porzingis trade scenarios from Washington Wizards
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  • Detroit Pistons trade: Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III, fifth overall pick
  • Wizards trade: Kristaps Porzingis

After four consecutive playoffless seasons, the Pistons are shaking things up this summer. Dwane Casey is out, and coach Monty Williams is in. But, aside from Cade Cunningham’s return from a stress fracture that cost him all but 12 games, the Pistons will need to find other ways to improve this roster if they want to be competitive right away.

One potential solution could involve auctioning off the fifth overall pick in exchange for a valued veteran like Porzingis. The Wizards are expected to lean toward an organizational reset with a new team president, and landing another top pick in this year’s draft would jumpstart the process. Plus, getting a chance to evaluate Stewart and Bagley, who are just 22 and 24 years old, wouldn’t be bad for a team in desperate need of talent.

While the Wizards could likely use that talent in other areas of the roster, since Kyle Kuzma still remains, he could also be on the trade block following the Beal trade as the team looks to embrace a youth movement. Or, it’s possible Kuzma exercises his player option and becomes a free agent this summer too.

Either way, this trade helps the Pistons compete next season, adding a much-needed established power forward who can also bring more perimeter shooting to a roster that could use more scoring as their core continues to grow into their roles.

Related: Top 2023 NBA free agents: Best 100 available with positional breakdowns

Chicago Bulls replace Nikola Vucevic with Porzingis

NBA: Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls
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  • Chicago Bulls trade: Patrick Williams, Lonzo Ball, 2024 first-round pick (POR)
  • Wizards trade: Kristaps Porzingis

Like many other NBA teams, the Bulls find themselves in a spot that could either lean toward contention or a complete overhaul of the roster. While they boast three All-Stars, they still couldn’t make the postseason last year. Lonzo Ball’s disappearance has cratered this team’s future, and there’s no idea when or if the point guard can ever return to the court.

Then there’s Nikola Vucevic, who’s headed to unrestricted free agency this offseason and could have several suitors on the open market. Early reports have the Bulls trying to retain their starting center, but maybe they view Porzingis’ 7-foot-3 frame as an even better fit?

In dealing with the Wizards, who aren’t going to be competitive right away, the Bulls may be able to pull off another salary dump of sorts by offloading Ball’s contract (who may retire and come off the books), plus Williams, who was the fourth overall pick in 2020 and is still just 21. Not to mention, the Wizards also add the Blazers’ first-round pick (Top-14 protected) in 2024.

So it’s cap relief, a gamble that Williams turns into the player many hoped he’d become on draft day, and a future first for a player who may leave in free agency next season anyway.

Meanwhile, the Bulls find another key starter, in this case, a long-term power forward and a somewhat replacement for Vucevic’s production, with Andre Drummond capable of taking over the starting center spot without giving up in return as far as current contributors.

Related: 2023 NBA mock draft: See who the Wizards are projected to land at No. 8

Charlotte Hornets team Kristaps Porzingis with LaMelo Ball

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets
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  • Charlotte Hornets trade: Gordon Hayward, No. 2 overall pick
  • Wizards trade: Kristaps Porzingis

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, there’s plenty of talk surrounding what the Hornets might do with the No. 2 pick. Standing pat and selecting Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson are appealing, but how many more wins will that lead to this season? Rookies take time to develop.

While a strong case could be made that the Hornets can afford to be patient with their young players, who doesn’t like to see a winner? One particular area the Hornets could use a lot of help in is their frontcourt, with P.J. Washington set for free agency.

If Washington is set to receive a massive offer, how about pivoting to Porzingis, who would immediately compete with Ball as the top scorer on the team? The Hornets would lose out on Henderson and Miller in this scenario, but they’d be gaining a surefire talent who could contribute to the win column right away.

Meanwhile, the Wizards continue their theme, getting expiring contracts while adding assets to the squad. In this case, it comes in the form of the second-best prospect in the draft, giving Washington a chance to build a future around a player like Henderson or Miller instead of their current crop of unknowns.

Related: Top 100 NBA Draft prospects of 2023: From Victor Wembanyama to Nikos Rogkavopoulos

Portland Trail Blazers add skilled big to pair with Damian Lillard

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Washington Wizards
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  • Portland Trail Blazers trade: Anfernee Simons, Kevin Knox, Nasir Little, 23rd pick, 43rd pick
  • Wizards trade: Kristaps Porzingis

Our final Porzingis trade scenario sends the versatile big to Portland, where he can help Damian Lillard make another push for the playoffs. As is, the Blazers have a guard-heavy lineup with Lillard, Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe waiting in the wings. Sharpe hasn’t really shown his value yet, but Simons is a valued trade chip.

So why not capitalize on the 24-year-old’s high value by exchanging him for a piece that better fits the current roster structure? Porzingis not only brings more size and rim protection to the lineup, he also presents another scoring threat for defenses to worry about, forming a deadly duo with Dame Time.

Meanwhile, the Wizards get another talented two-guard, unfortunately complicating Johnny Davis’ playing time again, but they can’t worry too much about how they’re going to rebuild the roster right now as they’re still in the asset accumulation stage. Perhaps Simons can take the next step when given the keys to the offense, much like Mikal Bridges did following his trade from Phoenix. In that case, Simons would become a superstar in Washington, much like Beal did.

Related: NBA playoff predictions: Bracket picks & 2024 Finals champion

This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.

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