Marcus Smart has done plenty of good during his seven seasons in Beantown. Widely regarded as the emotional leader of the Boston Celtics, Smart has notched back-to-back All-Defensive First Team selections, firmly solidifying himself as one of the league’s best on-ball defenders. Furthermore, the 27-year-old enjoyed a career season on the offensive end in 2020-21. In 48 games, Smart flaunted an improved skillset as a distributor, averaging 5.7 assists to go along with 13.1 points — both of which set career-highs.
However, for all the positives Smart has brought to the table in recent years, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey believes that his stint in Boston may soon be coming to an end.
“Like Patrick Beverley’s with the Clippers, Marcus Smart’s time with the Boston Celtics may have simply run its course,” Bailey wrote. “He and the team have been to three conference finals, and Smart has played plenty of stout defense over his seven seasons, but a shakeup could benefit both.”
So what shake-up might Bailey have in mind for the Celtics? One that would potentially yield Boston their point guard of the future in a trade with the Chicago Bulls.
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Smart Trade Proposal Lands Celtics Coby White & More
Bailey believes Smart is the type of player who could help rescue Bulls star Zach LaVine from his career playoff drought. In exchange, the B/R columnist has the Celtics receiving former No. 7 overall pick Coby White, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, as well as some draft capital.
- Boston Celtics Recieve:
- Coby White, G
- Al-Farouq Aminu, F
- 2025 first-round pick
- Chicago Bulls Recieve:
- Marcus Smart, G
“Coby White has a ways to go, particularly on defense, but he’s six years younger than Smart and probably has a higher offensive ceiling,” Bailey noted.
“His high-volume three-point shooting would pull defenders away from the rim, giving Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown more slashing lanes,” he added. “And he’s also a viable option to take the reins of the point guard position when Kemba Walker’s contract expires in 2022-23 (or 2021-22, if he declines his $37.7 million player option).”
There’s no denying the jury remains out on White. Many in Chicago expect the Bulls to look to upgrade their point guard position this offseason, with Lonzo Ball being a prime target.
White endured a somewhat up-and-down second pro campaign. While he did enjoy a late-season surge, the former Tar Heel did struggle at times with turnovers, looking limited as a true point guard. With that said, he excelled when asked to attack the rim or serve as a catch-and-shoot player. In return, he still mustered up a solid stat line of 15.1 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Why Smart’s Time in Boston Could be Coming to an End
Yes, Smart’s sometimes sporadic shot selection and heat checks from deep have a tendency to leave Celtics fans punching the air. Yet, that’s likely not the reason why the team would cut bait with him. In reality, the reason why he’s potentially run his course with the Cs is that he’s simply the most viable trade piece on the roster.
Jayson Tatum is untouchable, while Jaylen Brown isn’t far off. As for Kemba Walker, he’s a 31-year-old undersized point guard with a growing injury history who is struggling mightily in the playoffs and is owed 73.6 million-plus over the next two years… good luck finding a buyer.