Star big man Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly headed to the Boston Celtics in a three-way trade that involves the rebuilding Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The deal includes reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon heading to Southern California. The trade has reportedly been agreed to in principal but can’t be announced until Los Angeles is on the clock with the 30th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft Thursday night, per league rules.
The pre-draft deal is an absolute whopper. So, let’s break it down in clear form below:
- Boston Celtics get: Kristaps Porzingis
- Los Angeles Clippers get: Malcolm Brogdon
- Washington Wizards get: Marcus Morris Jr., Amir Coffey, 30th pick in 2023 NBA Draft
Celtics President Brad Stevens has had his eye on Porzingis for a while. In fact, Boston attempted to make a deal for the star big man as far back as 2017. He now gets his guy to team up with All-NBA performers Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as the Celtics’ remake their roster to an extent.
As for the Clippers, they have been in the market for an upgrade at point guard over the past few years. Brogdon will offer Los Angeles a long-term solution to run the offense. It was a major issue a season ago with the Clippers relying on Russell Westbrook on the buyout market to head things at the point. This also pretty much eliminates Westbrook returning to the Clippers or a reunion with Chris Paul.
By now, it’s rather clear that the Wizards are in full-scale rebuild mode. With former Clippers general manager Michael Winger leading the charge, Washington has already pulled off the two biggest blockbuster trades of the young offseason. That included sending franchise stalwart and three-time All-Star Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns.
Here, we look at the four biggest winners and losers from this reported blockbuster three-team trade on the eve of the 2023 NBA Draft.
Related: 2023 NBA trade tracker with grades
Winner: Boston Celtics find perfect fit in Kristaps Porzingis
Still only 27 years old, Porzingis is coming off a career-best season for the Wizards. He averaged 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds on 50% shooting. The 7-foot-3 big man also shot 39% from three-point range on 5.5 attempts per game.
For Boston, Porzingis is a completely different monster than veterans Al Horford and Robert Williams on offense. While Horford is still a solid three-point shooter at this stage of his career, he’s pretty much been limited to that recently (68% of his shots were taken from three-point range last season). Porzingis has good mid-range and post games. As for Williams, his ability on defense has been weighed down by averaging just 7.3 points per game throughout his career.
More than anything, the ability to create a big three in Boston while finding a perfect fit was huge for the team after an exit at the hands of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Related: Top 100 NBA free agents of 20231
Loser: Chris Paul options narrow even more
After being acquired by the Washington Wizards from Phoenix, the expectation remains that Paul will be rerouted to another team. However, one logical option is no longer on the table. The 12-time All-Star was linked heavily to his former Clippers squad after being sent to Washington.
For a 38-year-old guard who is well past his prime and has a laundry list of injury issues, the trade market narrowing is not a great sign. Washington could still work on a buyout with the future Hall of Famer. Though, the team is also now open to keeping him. This is the last thing Paul needs in the back end of a brilliant career that has seen him fail to win a title thus far. At least for now, this makes him a loser. Things could obviously change on this front should a buyout come to fruition.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
Winner: Los Angeles Clippers find stability with Malcolm Brogdon
The injury issues relating to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard aside, Los Angeles’ biggest problem over the past couple seasons has been at the point guard position. Back in 2021-22, it relied on veteran journeyman Reggie Jackson to start 75 games. This past season saw the Clippers pick up Russell Westbrook on the buyout market. While he played well, it’s clear that Russ is no longer a major difference-maker at this stage in his career.
Enter into the equation the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner. Brogdon, 30, played well in his only season with the Boston Celtics. He’s also been a consistent force over the course of the past five seasons with Milwaukee, Indiana and Boston.
- Malcolm Brogdon stats (2018-23): 17.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.0 APG, 47% shooting, 39% 3-point
Brogdon gives Los Angeles a steady hand to run the offense (1.8 turnovers per game over past five seasons). He can shoot from the outside, adding another dimension to the Clippers’ attack in the process. At the cost of just the 30th pick, Marcus Morris and Amir Coffey, this was a steal.
Loser: Washington Wizards fans
We pretty much knew that the Wizards were going in another direction when they hired Michael Winger away from the aforementioned Clippers earlier in the offseason. Neither of the two moves Washington has made since should surprise anyone.
Unfortunately, it also creates a long-term rebuild for suffering fans in D.C. We’re now looking at one of the least-talented teams in the entire Association. It’s an organization that won’t be ready to be relevant in the NBA for at least the next two seasons. With the Wizards having failed to win a playoff series since 2016-17, misery for fans in D.C. will continue to be the name of the game. It was a necessary evil. It doesn’t make this easier for Wizards diehards.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.