Kristaps Porzingis Shuts It Down For Summer Due To Injury

It's not the kind of thing Boston Celtics fans want to hear after the big offseason move to bring in star Kristaps Porzingis at the expense of Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart.

Porzingis is suffering from plantar fasciitis—a foot injury that can sometimes take extraordinarily long to heal—and has had to shut down his summer playing plans, bowing out of the FIBA World Cup.

The seven-year NBA veteran has dealt with serious injuries throughout his career, making this an ominous sign for Boston. 

He posted a social media message to his Latvian supporters, apologizing for pulling out and explaining his medical situation:

“It is difficult, I feel very responsible to myself and the supporters of the Latvian national team, but a decision has been made that I will not play in the World Cup,” Porzingis wrote in Latvian. “After several weeks of recovery and a repeat MRI examination, the plantar fasciitis of my foot still prevents me from being on the field in full readiness."

Although training camp is still over a month away, this is certainly something to monitor, and there's no telling if the 7'3" big man will be at full strength by then, and he has a history of missing lengthy stretches of games due to injuries. 

He produced his healthiest season in six years in 2022-23 for the Washington Wizards, playing 65 games while averaging a career-high 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocked shots. He'd played an average of just 50 games in the previous four full seasons that he took part in, and he also missed the entire 2018-19 campaign due to a torn ACL. 

The Celtics traded for Porzingis in June as part of a three-team deal that sent nine-year Boston veteran Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies. The C's then signed the original "unicorn" to a two-year extension worth $60M. 

Could this be the return of Porzingis's chronic injury troubles? If so, the Celtics could be paying a steep price. 

Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports