Wizards

Porzingis thinks it'll be 'extremely fun' playing with Beal

Wizards
Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards

Wizards fans will have to wait until next season -- assuming both players are on the roster --  to see Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal on the floor together. 

A lot still has to happen before we get to that point, considering Beal's expiring contract, the potential supermax waiting for him in the offseason and a few more roster moves GM Tommy Sheppard may or may not execute between now and opening night of the 2022-23 NBA season. 

Should Beal and Porzingis suit up together, Washington's newest former All-Star is excited for what that kind of partnership could accomplish.  

"[Beal's] incredible. He's one of those guys that takes a lot of attention away from everybody else in a good way," Porzingis told NBCSW's Chris Miller. "I also look forward to doing that, coming in here, taking the attention away so other guys can free up and shoot, and create for my teammates. Playing with Brad, I think it's going to be extremely fun. He's dynamic, he knows the game, he has a lot of experience in the playoffs and I think the sooner we were able to get on [the floor], even if it's practice floor together and start talking and start getting a feel for each other, the better off we'll be."

 

Porzingis spent the last three seasons playing second fiddle to Luka Doncic. While there's nothing wrong with being the No. 2 to an incredible talent like Doncic, playing with that kind of teammate cuts into your usage more times than not. Beal isn't the kind of player that will start and end every possession, leaving more opportunity for Porzingis to break out of his shell a bit. 

"I think those guys in a two-man game is ideal for the way the NBA's played now," Sheppard told Miller. "I think it's important that we move Kristaps around, not just park them in a corner. He's an elite cutter that opens up a lot of things and with his size, you think about maybe having him and [Daniel Gafford] together. You could really, really put some pressure on the rim if you get somebody who knows how to make paint attacks and how to distribute the ball with those two out there."

With the Wizards, Porzingis is certainly getting a fresh start after an up-and-down tenure in Dallas. However, the key ingredient for him might be the Wizards' willingness to play to his strengths rather than try to fit him next to an established, high-usage mega-star. 

If he can stay healthy, which he's said is a priority for him in D.C., the Wizards may be able to get the most out of one of the NBA's forgotten superstars. 

"I don't think we have seen [the best version of me] yet," Porzingis said. "I'm 26 years old, and it's been a roller coaster. There's an injury, you're out of rhythm so you have to get your rhythm back and conditioning. I think this is the perfect situation for me to finish out this season strong, get in a good rhythm, hopefully make some noise as a team. I've put in a lot of hours to be great and I feel like this is the right place for me to get to that next level."