Alternative offseason plan for Kristaps Porzingis had he not been traded to the Boston Celtics revealed

Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics
Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Had the Boston Celtics not landed Kristaps Porzingis in a June 2023 Marcus Smart trade, the Latvian center would've had big money waiting for him in free agency from former Cs GM and current Utah Jazz President Danny Ainge.

Per Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, Utah was all his if he wanted it, since the Washington Wizards were in no realistic position to meet Porzingis's salary demands or give him a chance to compete for a championship.

How would that Jazz team have looked?

Potential Jazz roster had the Boston Celtics never traded for Kristaps Porzingis

Landing Porzingis set the tone for the Celtics' summer. Who knows the butterfly effect on Boston had Porzingis never made it to Beantown via an emotional blockbuster from Brad Stevens and the team's front office.

For the Jazz, signing Porzingis may have precluded them from getting involved in John Collins trade talks. With Porzingis next to Lauri Markkanen, the focus from Ainge would've likely been elsewhere. It took little to land Collins, though, so perhaps it still would've transpired since the Atlanta Hawks' expectations in a Collins swap lowered after years of being high.

A Porzingis-Collins-Markkanen frontcourt may have gotten the Jazz in a position to contend for a Play-In Tournament seed. Utah ultimately ended up 15 games out of the No. 10 seeded Golden State Warriors in the standings, but with Markkanen abusing mismatches at the 3 and Porzingis being a two-way force at the 5, one has to think the Jazz would've been in a far better spot.

We're deep into the hypothetical realm here, but it cannot be stressed how much enough that Porzingis going to the Celtics shaped the league this offseason. Jrue Holiday was worth the investment because Porzingis gave Boston's front office the idea that 2023-24 could be all-in.

Of course, every season with Smart was an all-in effort on the court, but Stevens went for broke on the trade market by giving up so many draft picks for the former champion Holiday. The picks from the Porzingis trade helped facilitate that.