Phoenix Suns v Washington Wizards
Three Things To Know is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out NBCSports.com every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.
1) Hachimura trade, Porzingis injury shake up Wizards
Monday ended up being a big day for the Wizards.
First came the expected update on Kristaps Porzingis, who will miss time with a sprained ankle suffered against the Magic. Porzingis — averaging 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game — is likely out for at least a couple of weeks.
“I think I’m probably holding out a little more hope than most, but he’s responding better than I anticipated,” head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said, via Chase Hughes at NBC Sports Washington. “We’ll see where it goes in the next day or so and hopefully we’ll have him back sooner than later.”
They need him back: The Wizards have outscored opponents by 1.6 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court but have gotten outscored by 3.7 when he is off.
Then came the news of the day, which also depleted Washington’s frontcourt depth: The Wizards traded Rui Hachimura to the Lakers for Kendrick Nunn (salary ballast) and three second-round picks.
While it’s obvious why the Lakers made the trade, for the Wizards this move is… mid. Hachimura was not part of the long-term plans D.C. — this is more evidence of the plan to throw a lot of money at Kyle Kuzma this offseason — but if they had waited would they have gotten more than three second-rounders for the young forward? Maybe not, but the market would not get worse, so why not wait, just in case? Maybe try to play a couple of teams off each other and see if you can do a little better, the deadline is still weeks away.
It’s just not a win to trade a former No. 9 pick that you developed for second-rounders.
But this is not a bad deal for Washington, and losing Hachimura does not damage the rotation. Not nearly as much as losing Porzingis for the next couple of weeks.