2. Kristaps Porzingis — 2023-24 Salary: $36.01 Million
The Celtics’ biggest offseason move saw them acquire Kristaps Porzingis in a three-team deal involving the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. As a result, the 28-year-old Latvian is Boston’s highest-paid player at just over $36.01 million this season.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that Porzingis is a bad NBA player. After all, he’s a strong presence who just averaged 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds with .498/.385/.851 shooting splits over 65 games last year.
It’s just that his injuries make it tough to be happy with his monstrous salary. Since the 2016-17 season, the former 2015 fourth-overall pick has played more than 57 games just once. Like Brogdon, he’s also missed an average of 29 contests in the last three seasons alone.
At over $36 million, you would expect to be getting a perennial All-Star, but Porzingis hasn’t even qualified for the annual event since 2018.
Given that he’ll now be sharing the floor with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, I’m having a tough time envisioning him returning to his all-star form even if he stays healthy. Even that might be a pipe dream considering that he’s still rehabbing from plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Again, Porzingis isn’t terrible or incapable of being a starter by any stretch of the imagination. He’ll still make a difference whenever he touches the floor, it’s just the number of times he suits up determines if the Celtics are getting the most out of his current contract.
I hope that Porzingis proves me wrong by showing that he’s worth his salary. It’s just that he has a long way to go to get to that point.