Grading the three-team Porzingis trade from all angles

Boston Celtics (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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NBA Trade
Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images /

Grade the Trade: How did the Wizards do?

Sent Out: Kristaps Porzingis

Received: Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, No. 35 pick in 2023 Draft

On the surface, it looks like the Washington Wizards traded Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis and didn’t get back a single first-round pick or a young star. Tyus Jones is 27 years old and somewhere around the 25th-best point guard in the league, Chris Paul is unlikely to ever play for the Wizards, and otherwise, it’s a handful of role players who are likely to be waived or moved on from by the end of the season.

As with most deals involving a potential free agent, it’s not as simple as “Wizards trade Porzingis for X” because the alternative was getting nothing at all as Porzingis left in free agency. This deal was under such weighty time constraints because of the midnight deadline for Porzingis to exercise his player option. If this deal wasn’t worked out, he was going to decline the player option and leave for nothing. Compared to that, getting the No. 35 pick and Tyus Jones sounds a bit better.

Jones joins a now-crowded point guard room that includes Monte Morris, Delon Wright and Chris Paul (for now). Washington could decide Jones is the one to keep around, but it’s also very likely that they field trade offers for him. Teams such as Orlando, Toronto, Chicago and New Orleans could all get into the mix for Jones.

This deal could be adjusted to join with the Beal trade, or a fourth team could be added to reroute Jones. Compared to the previous deal with the Clippers, the Wizards look much better off with Tyus Jones, the 35th pick and a pair of smaller salaries in Gallinari and Muscala, vs Marcus Morris’ much higher salary and the 30th pick.

The Wizards are making a bet that future cap space will be more valuable than middling players on long-term salary, either to sign players or more likely to rent out their cap space at a cost. This deal gives them even more flexibility to do that as well.

This wasn’t some sort of runaway success, but it’s better than nothing and should be the precursor to even more moves.

Grade: A-