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.
2) Jalen Green goes off for career-high 42, Rockets win
Jalen Green has not made a leap in his second season. The wildly athletic wing is shooting more and scoring more, but his efficiency has taken a little dip, and he’s getting to the rim less often (and not finishing as well when he gets there). It has not been an impressive season for the No.2 pick.
But there are still flashes — Monday night was one of those as Green scored a career-high 42 on the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves had won 8-of-11 coming into Monday, but this is a reminder of how difficult it is to win both ends of one of these “baseball” series where the teams play each other twice in a row at one team’s home. You see more playoff-like adjustments, sometimes a little tension rolls over from game to game, and sometimes a guy just goes off. Green did that for the Rockets, who won 119-114.
The best non-Green highlight from this game? D’Angelo Russell crashing into Alex Rodriguez while chasing a loose ball.
3) Jonathan Isaac makes return to court for Magic
After 904 days and a couple of knee surgeries since he last stepped on an NBA court — way back during the bubble — Jonathan Isaac returned to play for the Orlando Magic on Monday night against Boston.
Isaac ended up playing a little less than 10 minutes (he’s on a restriction, as would be expected) but the 6-foot-10 power forward finished with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t (have doubts) with this injury,” Isaac said, via the Associated Press. “I was like, `I don’t know if I want to keep going.’ But then again, God gave me a purpose. I was made to play basketball … so I was going to continue the process no matter what anybody was saying.”
Orland withstood a run and comeback by the Celtics to take the 113-98 win, snapping Boston’s nine-game win streak. Maybe the travel from Toronto to Orlando got to them, but the more interesting test is on the second night of the back-to-back in Miami.
Here is more on the Wizards
Winners, loser from Rui Hachimura trade to Lakers It’s official: Lakers acquire Hachimura from Wizards for Nunn, second-round… Hachimura on trade rumors: ‘I just want to be somewhere that wants…
Three things to Know: Hachimura trade, Porzingis injury shake up Wizards originally appeared on NBCSports.com