The Celtics Are Trading Marcus Smart To Memphis In A Three-Team Blockbuster For Kristaps Porzingis

Wednesday was a wild ride for Kristaps Porzingis, the Boston Celtics, and the Washington Wizards, as the teams had to come up with two different frameworks for trades to bring the star big man to Boston after a three-team deal involving the Clippers fell apart with 90 minutes left before the player option deadline for Porzingis.

After scrambling for a little over an hour, the two teams found a new team to enter the fray, with the Memphis Grizzlies getting in on the action in a stunning blockbuster that will see Marcus Smart get traded to Memphis, Porzingis and a pair of picks from Memphis (25th overall tomorrow, 2024 top-4 protected GSW) end up in Boston, and Tyus Jones, the 35th overall pick, Danilo Gallinari, and Mike Muscala go to Washington.

It’s a rather incredible bit of work by the three sides to agree to a new deal so quickly by bringing in a third team that had previously not been involved — at least in an iteration that ever got very far down the line — and to rework the deal to include three rather important players to each team. There had been rumors Jones wanted a starting role and he will certainly get that chance in Washington, while the Celtics shockingly pivot from moving Malcolm Brogdon to trading the 2021-22 DPOY in Marcus Smart to Memphis. It’s a big swing for the Grizzlies, who flip their talented backup who wanted a bigger role and a pair of firsts for Smart, who can handle point guard duties in Ja Morant’s absence and then move off the ball between Morant and Desmond Bane once Ja’s suspension is over.

Boston trading Smart is a huge decision and one not many saw coming, particularly with the Brogdon deal seemingly done. One has to wonder if the Celtics aren’t done dealing because losing Smart is a considerable blow defensively. Adding a pair of first round picks gives them some ammunition to make other deals, but they do add some scoring balance with Porzingis, who is the best big man scorer they’ve had in this recent run. Washington, meanwhile, gets a quality young player rather than a draft pick, and can hope to re-sign Jones next offseason if all works out.