The Boston Celtics are the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and seriously look like they can leapfrog a LeBron led team for the first time since 2008. Marcus Smart is one of the who defines the Celtics grit and toughness that Danny Ainge seems to always covet. Smart is scheduled to hit restricted free agency this summer and it appears that Smart is that player that Ainge is dangling in trade talks if the right price comes along.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was the first to report the news:
“He’s a player who is available for a first-round pick. I think if a team was willing to give Boston a first, Boston would look at (a deal) if they didn’t have to take a lot of money going out, in the future. He’s restricted this summer, you don’t know what it’s going to take to keep him (this summer).”
Boston has a treasure chest of first-round picks including their own, the Lakers/Kings pick, the 2019 protected Grizzlies pick, and the 2019 protected Clippers pick. Ainge has never been shy on pulling the trigger on a trade as Smart could be used to collect more picks to then trade for another superstar player.
Smart is currently out after he punched a mirror. Smart is expected to be out until at least the All-Star Game. Smart helps bolster the Celtics number one defensive unit in the NBA, but he has his own offensive woes. Since Smart has left the rotation, Terry Rozier has really flourished scoring two 30 point games in back to back outings. Smart, 23, has averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Smart is just one of those gritty guys who helps any team. The question is how valuable is a .357 percent shooter away from Brad Stevens and the stable Celtics franchise?