A few years ago, big man Kristaps Porzingis was one of the NBA’s most promising young stars.
He showed the ability to become a 20-point, 10-rebound player who could also protect the rim on defense and hit 3-pointers at a high rate.
Unfortunately, injuries have dampened plenty of that potential.
He is still a good player, and he is averaging an impressive 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds a game while shooting 49.8 percent overall and 38.5 percent from 3-point range for the Washington Wizards this season.
Porzingis is rumored to be progressing in negotiations for a new contract to could pay him $180 million over four years.
But NBA analyst Keith Smith says such a deal could be a bad move for the Wizards.
On one hand, it makes a lot of sense for WAS to get an extension done with Porzingis. He's been really good this year. That would also bring clarity heading into the summer and Kuzma negotiations (he won't extend).
On the other hand: Wizards are destined to be 7 to 12 forever.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 29, 2023
Porzingis is a good player (when healthy), but is he really worth $180 million over four years, which is the type of money given out to superstars, if not merely legitimate All-Stars?
He has made just one All-Star Game in his eight NBA seasons, and he has played in over 70 games just once, although with 65 games under his belt this season, he could make it two such campaigns.
If the Wizards devote that much money to Porzingis, it will be difficult for them to bring in additional pieces to get themselves out of that nebulous realm of being a borderline play-in tournament team.
As of this writing, they’re in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a 34-42 record and are 2.5 games behind the 10th-place Chicago Bulls.
Washington has already traded away a solid player in Rui Hachimura, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, and there is always the chance Kyle Kuzma leaves this summer as well in free agency.NEXT: Fans React To Today's Kristaps Porzingis News