‘Last Minute’ Proposed Trade Sees Celtics Swapping Starter for Hawks Shooter

Celtics trade proposal lands Bogdan Bogdanovic

Getty Bogdan Bogdanovic #13 hugs Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks after their 113-96 win over the New York Knicks.

The Boston Celtics are playing like a different team than they were earlier in the season. Come 3:00 pm ET on February 10th, will they also look like a different team? While the C’s outlook may have shifted from being potential sellers to possible buyers at the deadline, Brad Stevens and company are expected to be hitting the phone lines with ferocity over the next 24-odd hours, nonetheless.

One Celtics player in particular who has commonly been mentioned in trade speculation is Marcus Smart. The resurgent point guard is fresh off a 22-point outing against the Brooklyn Nets on February 8 and is in the midst of arguably the best two-week span of his NBA career. With that said, recent reports point towards the Cs being at least willing to entertain the thought of moving off their longest-tenured player at the deadline.

B/R Proposal Puts Final Touches on Rumored Trade Framework

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reported on February 7 that the Atlanta Hawks “have interest” in acquiring Smart and that he’s heard some chatter on a Smart-Bogdan Bogdanovic trade framework in recent days. As for how the rest of such a package would shape up, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes has mustered up a “last-minute” trade proposal to help fill in the blanks. 

  • Atlanta Hawks Receive:
    • Marcus Smart
  • Boston Celtics Receive:
    • Bogdan Bogdanovic
    • 2022 first-round pick (via Charlotte Hornets)
    • 2022 first-round pick (via Oklahoma City Thunder)

via Hughes:

The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner reports the Hawks ‘have interest’ in Marcus Smart. Considering how perfectly he’d fit as a defensive hole-plugger on a team that will always need one with Trae Young around, that’s enough to throw a trade together.

Boston might wind up getting only four second-rounders out of the attached picks, as both are protected and may not convey. The Celtics should counter the Hawks by asking for Onyeka Okongwu and/or trying to expand the deal to include Al Horford’s salary, which would get them way below the tax this year.

Still, some version of this exchange makes sense. Smart would add defensive punch to a Hawks team that needs it, and Bogdanovic would bring shooting and playmaking to a Celtics team where those qualities are in short supply. It’s the throw-ins and sweeteners that complicate matters.

Celtics Long Linked to Bogdanovic

Bogdanovic, 29, is a player the Celtics were linked to not only at last season’s trade deadline but even dating back to his days in Sacramento. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported in March of 2021 that Boston had been eyeing Bogdanovic, in addition to forward John Collins, in a potential trade with the Hawks.

The Serbian wing has seen his production take a dip this season, averaging 12.5 points on 41.7% shooting from the field and 36.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Yet, Bogdanovic has flashed high-end consistency in the scoring department in the past. In 2020-21, he averaged 16.4 points per game and shot 43.8% from three — each of which remain career-highs for the former first-round pick.

While the Celtics have been surging up the Eastern Conference ranks of late, winning six straight, they still lack firepower from deep. Through 56 games, Boston ranks within the bottom nine of the NBA in team three-point percentage (34.0%). Acquiring a player with Bogdanovic’s upside could certainly help in that field. However, is it truly worth moving off a thriving, multi-dimensional player widely viewed as the heart and soul of Boston’s roster? I have my doubts.

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