4. Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis is coming off the best season of his career. He was finally the star two-way center he was expected to be when he was the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
The 7-foot-3 center was able to stay healthy for a full campaign, playing in and starting 65 games for Washington and averaging 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. He shot 49.8 percent from the floor and hit 38.5 percent of his 5.5 threes a night.
He was the first player to garner the “unicorn” adjective because of his ability to stretch the floor, protect the rim and score off the dribble for a player his size. He was exactly that in 2022-23.
It would be much easier to build a trade if Porzingis picks up his $36 million player option for 2023-24. If he declines that option and becomes a free agent, the Blazers wouldn’t have the cap space to sign him outright, which would necessitate a sign-and-trade agreement between the two teams.
But if the 7-3 Latvian can stay healthy and repeat the season he had last year or even come close to it, he brings the ideal skill set Portland needs from a center with its current roster.
If the Wizards are indeed having a fire sale, it would be smart for Cronin to pounce and try to bring a valuable player to Portland for a lesser-than-usual price.