Marcus Smart’s Teammate Floated as Celtics ‘Ambitious’ Trade Target

Marcus Smart

Getty Marcus Smart

At the current time, the Boston Celtics don’t have to think about the help they need. However, when they approach their offseason, they need to think about cheap reinforcements. One that comes to mind is Marcus Smart‘s teammate, Derrick Rose.

Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes explained why he believes the Celtics should go after the Memphis Grizzlies guard this coming offseason.

“Rose is nearing the end of the line and almost certainly isn’t a more valuable player on balance than Pritchard, whose minutes he’d probably cut into in this hypothetical. Still, the veteran guard has settled in as a useful locker-room leader, and he’s at least wired to run the offense to the benefit of others.

“As you can see, Boston can have all the ambition it wants. But a stacked roster and the strictures imposed by the second apron make major talent additions almost impossible.”

Rose and Smart joined forces in Memphis for the 2023-24 season. Sadly, Memphis’ season was ruined by injuries, as Smart was only available for 20 games.

He is no longer the MVP he was in 2011 with the Chicago Bulls. However, Rose has transitioned to a role player as he’s aged. The Celtics won’t have many options, having crossed the league’s second tax apron. Rose would potentially be cheap.

Marcus Smart’s Teammate Was Celtics Trade Target

The Celtics looked at the Grizzlies as potential trade targets. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, the Celtics had their eye on one Grizzly in particular when the 2023-24 season was young.

“Reserve forward John Konchar is also a candidate to be dealt before the February trade deadline. The Celtics, Warriors, and Lakers are among the teams who’ve kept tabs on Konchar’s situation from afar, HoopsHype has learned,” Scotto wrote in a November 29 story.

At the time, the Celtics had the Grant Williams trade exception, which they could have used to absorb his contract. Boston did not come away with Konchar, though it may have been because acquiring him could have led to harsher luxury tax penalties. The Grizzlies also had some of the worst injury luck imaginable and plan to run it back.

The Celtics later used the Williams TPE to absorb Jaden Springer instead. They will not be able to use the rest of it this coming offseason since they have crossed the NBA’s second tax apron.

Celtics Acquired Marcus Smart’s Teammate

While the Celtics didn’t acquire Konchar, Smart wasn’t the most recent former Grizzly to make it to Boston. The Celtics acquired Xavier Tillman in exchange for Lamar Stevens.

Tillman had played the first three-and-a-half seasons of his NBA career with the Grizzlies before the Celtics acquired him. Despite playing for half a season for the Celtics, Tillman appeared in just as many games as him at 20.

Tillman saw his playoff minutes increase in the Eastern Conference Finals once Luke Kornet went down. He played in Games 2 through 4 during the Celtics sweep. Tillman became Al Horford’s primary backup as the series progressed.

With Kristaps Porzingis still out indefinitely until further notice, Tillman could see more minutes in the NBA Finals.