Celtics Urged to Trade Key Veteran Starter

Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

Getty Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

He may have helped take the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals, but Marcus Smart’s name continues to be thrown around in hypothetical trade discussions.

Sure, the Boston Celtics need some additional playmaking, and yes, Smart is prone to the occasional mistake, but overall, the veteran guard was solid in his debut season running the point – even winning Defensive Player of the Year honors as a result.

However, according to Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe, Smart’s successes this season are exactly why the Celtics should look to trade him, essentially striking while the iron’s hot.

The Finals also proved that the Celtics’ most impactful defensive player is sui generis center, Robert Williams. Saying goodbye to Smart could bring back a return that allows the Celtics to reappropriate their roster resources. Perhaps Smart could be part of a package that fetches Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers.

Stevens could call up his old boss, Danny Ainge, in Utah and ask about a deal including veteran point guard Mike Conley. Would the Atlanta Hawks, who desperately need grit, be willing to part with one of their playmaking, outside-shooting wings,” Gasper wrote in his June 22 article. 

It’s true, Smart’s value has never been higher, but after playing such an integral role in helping Boston to the NBA finals, is it really prudent to trade him away, knowing what he brings to the team, not only on the court but in the locker room too?


Stevens Wants to Add Playmaking This Summer

“I think we need a little bit more playmaking. I really think we need more playmaking, but I don’t think we can be stagnant. We have to make sure that we continue to play with pace. When we are at our best we play with pace, and when we create one advantage the ball whips around the court and I just thought we played pretty slow in that last series,” Brad Stevens told the media on June 21. 


LIVE: Reaction to Brad Stevens Season Ending Press ConferenceBobby Manning and John Zannis of The Garden Report react to Brad Stevens Season Ending Press Conference that was held on Tuesday Morning. Stevens discussed the Celtics Finals run, 2022 NBA Draft, Free Agency and more. Watch Full Media Availability Here: youtu.be/hklLRN1HSpA Celtics fans, we know the NBA Finals can have you stressed out! So…2022-06-22T01:56:45Z

Regardless of how he meant it, Brad Stevens noting that he’s targeting some additional playmaking this summer has set the media cycle into overdrive. A lot of people view Smart as Boston’s most tradeable asset, and hearing the President of Basketball Operations discuss additional help in the playmaking department has got people assuming Smart is replaceable.

But ask yourself, what other player can come in and impact the game like Smart does? Who is out there that can defend every position at an elite level while still setting up the offense and dropping 41.8% of their looks from the field – it will be a very small list, and those players are certainly not attainable for the Celtics right now.


Celtics Need to Improve the Fringes

When you look at Boston’s current roster, the bench unit is your first concern. The Celtics need scoring, size, better back-up for Robert Williams, and some additional playmaking – and ideally, one player will bring a couple of those skills to the table.

Let’s be honest, if Aaron Nesmith or Sam Hauser develop their games this summer, the team’s need for bench scoring may be resolved from within. Daniel Theis doesn’t fit the Ime Udoka brand of basketball – especially in the playoffs, so finding a replacement big to come off the bench looks to be high on the shopping list.

However, Derrick White, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams can all pass the rock at reasonable levels – so, calling for a primary playmaker might be overkill to some extent.

Sure, if the Celtics can find an additional wing to handle the rock off the bench, that’s something the team should take a serious look at. But trading away Smart, for anything other than part of a blockbuster package, well that might be what indicates the beginning of the end for this Celtics team championship window, and it’s not even fully open yet.

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