‘Really Good Market’ for Celtics Mainstay; Warriors Floated as Destination

Really good trade market for Marcus Smart

Getty Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics and Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics react during the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Jaylen Brown will more than likely be dangled in trade talks throughout the summer. However, any deal actually including the 24-year-old All-Star would almost certainly need to yield a full-blown star in return; ie: Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard. With such moves appearing farfetched, chances are the Boston Celtics will retain Brown as Jayson Tatum’s running mate — as should be the case. Yet, that’s not to say the Cs aren’t heading for a roster reshaping of sorts this offseason.

Kemba Walker has already been shipped out of town, and a fellow veteran guard may soon be to follow.

The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Celtics!

Bill Simmons Floats Marcus Smart as Trade Chip for Top-10 Pick

Co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently informed 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz that “there’s a lot we [the Celtics] have to go do… there’s a lot of potential trades” to be made. One player in particular who could be moved this summer is defensive stalwart Marcus Smart. While he is theoretically penciled in as the team’s starting point guard amid Walker’s exit, Boston has a looming contract decision to make when it comes to their longest-tenured player — one that could spell the end of his Celtics tenure.

“My feeling is either Marcus gets extended or traded, but it’ll happen in the next six weeks and it’ll be one or the other,” Bill Simmons said on the latest episode of The Ringer’s Bill Simmons Podcast. “And I would lean toward the extension, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded him for, I don’t know, the seventh pick with the Warriors. … The 7-9 range is probably his value because I do think contending teams really value him because they’ve seen him in three conference finals teams. They know he could be a fourth or fifth guy on a really good team.”

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, who joined Simmons as a guest on the podcast also tossed out the Portland Trail Blazers as an ideal destination for the 27-year-old guard, adding that “there’s a really good market for Marcus Smart.”

Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time Smart has been linked to Golden State. Leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft, Action Network’s Matt Moore reported that the Warriors and Celtics had engaged in trade talks that would have sent Smart to Golden State in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick. Of course, such a deal never materialized, leading to the Warriors staying put at No. 2 and using the pick to select Memphis big man James Wiseman.

In terms of this year’s draft, the Celtics don’t select until No. 45 overall after dealing away the 16th overall selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Walker-Al Horford trade. As for the Warriors, they own two of the first 14 picks in the first round (No. 7 and No. 14).

Making a Decision on Smart’s Contract

Smart is eligible for a contract extension this offseason which would pay him a maximum of $17.1 million in the first year of the extension. As Mass Live’s Brian Robb highlighted, such a deal could equate to $77 million over four years after “possible raises of eight percent per year [are] worked into the deal.”

Were the Celtics to commit such money to Smart, they’d be handicapping a large chunk of their financial freedom over the foreseeable future.

“Handing Smart that kind of money this summer for the long-term would take the Celtics out of the running for a max salary slot in the summer of 2022 or 2023 with the big contracts of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown also on the books,” wrote Robb.

Smart is a beloved fixture within the Celtics’ organization and readily referred to as the heart and soul of the team. However, if the team’s new president of basketball operations, Brad Stevens, is truly keen on reshaping the roster, Smart likely remains his most viable trade chip to help do so. Especially if they remain bullish on retaining Brown — which they almost certainly should.

Read More