JUNKIES: Bob Ryan 'happily stands corrected' about Celtics' acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis


Longtime Boston sportswriter Bob Ryan, formerly of the Boston Globe, was scathing in his dislike for the deal after the Celtics traded for Kristaps Porzingis…but as he revealed when he joined The Sports Junkies on Wednesday to discuss that trade, he will ‘happily stand corrected’ once he’s updated on his notion of a player he admittedly didn’t see last season.

“I didn’t see anything from Porzingis last year, because no one watches the Wizards outside of DC, so I was operating on my old conception of what he had been,” Ryan said. “I said I wasn’t thrilled about this, because he’s 7-foot-3 going on 6-foot-2 and we don’t need another guy passing up layups to clank threes from the corner – and I’ve been bombarded by people saying he did post up, and wasn’t just waiting for threes. So if that’s the case, I happily stand corrected. And welcome to Boston!”

JP did confirm that Porzingis is a decent shot blocker but ‘not the greatest of rebounders’ because he likes to play outside, so ‘he’s a little bit beyond what you were recalling.’

“When you have a guy that big and talented, you want him to be the best player you can be, and when you’re 7-foot-3, you have to put that size to use in the best ways,” Ryan said. "

Ryan didn’t think the Celtics needed an infusion of talent to win the championship last year, but of course, one unfortunate injury and one bad week prevented them from joining the 2004 Red Sox as Boston teams to come back from down 0-3 in a league championship series.

Part of the three-way trade to get Porzingis, though, sent Marcus Smart to Memphis, and that’s a move that Ryan begrudgingly admitted was expected by some.

“I have been elevated from member to Regional VP of the Marcus Smart Fan Club over the years, and have been willing to put up with his flaws to get the good stuff,” Ryan said. “The good stuff is not replicated by any other person of that size in the league. He’s a one-man wrecking crew on defense at his best – disruptive, fearless, and charmingly reckless – and a real force. When the season ended and you realized it was more than likely they’d shake things up to some degree, much of the speculation was on Jaylen Brown, but it had to be Smart that was going to be sacrificed in the quest to shake it up.”

Ryan also railed against Jaylen Brown being eligible for a max deal because he was an All-NBA selection, and JP commiserated, noting that’s how Bradley Beal got his max deal. Beal (and everyone else) is gone now, though, and while Ryan has only observed from afar, he did give the rebuild a somewhat vote of confidence based on seeing the same strategy before.

“We’ve seen it tried, and it worked in Philly to a degree – they went from dregs to a contender – and in baseball it worked for the Astros,” Ryan said. “Because of those examples, people will try, and all I can say is good luck. If you want to take that approach, stick with it and see what happens, but you’re asking your fan base to have extraordinary patience. This is an option people seem to want to explore now.”

Listen to Ryan’s entire segment on the trade, the Celtics’ future, Shohei Ohtani, and more above!

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