Kristaps Porzingis is close to joining the Boston Celtics.
The Washington Wizards are finalizing a trade to send Porzingis to the Celtics in a three-way deal including the Los Angeles Clippers, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports. The Wizards would receive Marcus Morris and the No. 30 pick in Thursday’s draft from Los Angeles, while Boston would send Malcolm Brogdon to the Clippers.
The Clippers would also send wing Amir Coffey to Washington, and the Celtics would send Danilo Gallinari to the Wizards in the deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The trade would require Porzingis to opt into his $36 million player option for the upcoming season.
Porzingis would join a Celtics team that finished second in the Eastern Conference during the regular season and lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. After consecutive trips to the conference finals that included an NBA Finals appearance in 2022, Boston is looking to get over the hump to an NBA championship.
Porzingis, 27, averaged 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assist and 1.5 blocks last season while shooting 49.8% from the field and 38.5% from 3-point distance in 65 games. His scoring average was his highest since he made his only career All-Star appearance with the New York Knicks in 2018.
A 7-3 power forward and center, Porzingis offers versatility on offense and a defensive presence capable of altering shots on the perimeter and in the post. He would join a Celtics front line that features veteran starter Al Horford and 2021-22 All-Defensive Team center Robert Williams at center alongside All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum.
Boston’s backcourt would take a blow with the departure of reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, who averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season while shooting 48.4% from the floor and 44.4% from 3-point distance. Brogdon would provide an upgrade to a Clippers backcourt that features starters Russell Westbrook and Paul George as Los Angeles has its own ambitions of competing for a championship.
For the Wizards, the proposed deal further signals a rebuild under new management in Washington initiated by last week’s trade of Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns.