Marcus Smart May Have To Erase the Circle Around February 4

Marcus Smart

Getty Marcus Smart likely won't be available to play when he returns to TD Garden for the first time as an opponent.

Boston Celtics fans certainly were looking forward to the homecoming of Marcus Smart on February 4, 2024. Smart likely had the date circled on his calendar, too.

Smart’s Memphis Grizzlies come to TD Garden for the only time this season during the first week of February, but it’s unlikely Smart will suit up against his former team then. The veteran point guard injured the ring finger on his right hand, and if the doctors are right, he’ll miss his return trip to Boston.

Marcus Smart Expected To Miss 6 Weeks

Despite landing Kristaps Porzingis in an offseason trade, Celtics fans were crushed when they found out Smart was part of the deal.

Smart, selected by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was the heart and soul of the team for years. He spent nine seasons with the Celtics, leading the team in heart and floor burns, before heading to Memphis before the 2023-24 season.

Smart injured his finger during a victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, January 9. Smart had 23 points in 21 minutes but left after seriously injuring that right ring finger.

Shams Charania of The Athletic announced the severity of Smart’s injury in a post on X.

“Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart has sustained a severe right ring finger injury and will be sidelined for approximately six weeks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” he wrote. “Another difficult injury blow in season for the Grizzlies.”

The injury to Smart is the second devastating injury for the team in a week. Star guard Ja Morant underwent successful surgery on his shoulder on Thursday, January 11, and is out for the rest of the season.

Smart Said He Learned of His Trade Via Social Media

The Celtics stormed back with three straight victories after being down 3-0 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The door was wide open for a second straight trip to the NBA Finals for Boston as Game 7 was being held at TD Garden. The Celtics were nearly a double-digit favorite.

Instead, the Heat embarrassed the Celtics 103-84 to advance to the championship round.

In the offseason, the Celtics swung a pair of trades, getting Porzingis in a three team deal involving Smart. They also acquired Jrue Holiday in a separate move.

Smart admitted he was “shocked” by the trade during an exclusive interview with CLNS Media.

“It was a shock, for sure,” Smart said. “For me, I was actually asleep, and my agent called my fiancé. She woke me up. It was right after the deal had been made, and I think Shams had already tweeted it out. That’s how we found out.

“I went to the gym the next day, got my stuff. Then I talked to Brad (Stevens) and Joe (Mazzulla) and a couple of other guys at the gym. It was definitely shocking to find out that way, especially because the week before I was told that we were good. There was no trade talks with me, and I was good.”

If the recovery timeline is correct, Smart won’t be in uniform when the Grizzlies come to Boston. He may still be in the building, but he and Celtics fans will likely have to wait until next year to see him on the court as the enemy.

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