1. Kristaps Porzingis
It may have been nearly six years since he last suited up in the orange and blue threads, but for both positive and negative (mostly negative) reasons, Kristaps Porzingis’ name is one Knicks fans won’t soon forget.
After being granted his wish to be traded back in early 2019 and residing outside of the Eastern Conference with the Dallas Mavericks and on a lottery-bound team with the Washington Wizards, New York’s former All-Star finds himself back in the Atlantic Division with the title-contending Celtics, and is viewed as the piece to potentially push the club over the hump.
Considering his high-end productivity when healthy, this should come as no surprise to anyone.
Last season with the lowly Wizards, Porzingis once again established himself as one of the best frontcourt talents the NBA has to offer. Through 65 games played, he went on to post sensational averages of 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting a career-best 49.8 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from distance.
Already during his young tenure with the Celtics, he’s showing a similar level of play, averaging 14.0 points and 5.0 boards on 58.3 percent shooting from the field and a whopping 80.0 percent from deep in only 20.8 minutes a night.
There’s a reason why one of the game’s greatest players of all time in Kevin Durant compared Porzingis’ abilities on the floor to that of a “unicorn” once upon a time, and, should he remain healthy, Celtics fans will learn why just like the faithful followers of the Knicks did.