Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart has become a popular name circulating in the NBA trade rumor mill. It is leading some to believe that the Celtics are still maneuvering for the future while trying to win an NBA championship this season.
Marcus Smart is viewed by many as one of the x-factors for the Boston Celtics. However, his long-term future with the Celtics has been in doubt. Reaching restricted free agent status in the offseason will likely cause Marcus Smart to seek a big payday in the summer. As one of the NBA’s few lockdown defenders, there will be several teams looking to sign Smart to a deal.
The terms that Marcus Smart will ask for could price the Boston Celtics out contract negotiations. Smart’s status as a pending restricted free agent currently gives the Celtics an upper hand as long as he is on their roster.
There is some growing speculation the same NBA teams which will be interested in Marcus Smart during the summer may look to acquire him early.
This has led to the Boston Celtics entertaining trade overtures for the fourth-year guard. According to Sporting News, the Celtics are willing to part ways with Marcus Smart for a first-round pick.
NBA teams which are on the cusp of playoff contention will be the ones most interested in Marcus Smart. The Boston Celtics will receive some calls from teams which are lottery-bound. In all likelihood, those teams will not be looking to meet the Celtics’ proposed asking price of a first-round pick.
Marcus Smart has a lot of attributes that NBA teams clamor for. Smart is the Celtics’ best on-ball defender and he does the dirty work, such as crash the boards for offensive rebounds and take charges. His jump shot has not taken shape the way that the Celtics had hoped, however, Smart’s intangibles make him a highly coveted trade target.
The Celtics will have until Thursday afternoon to trade Marcus Smart. If the Celtics cannot secure a trade by then, Smart will begin the summer as a restricted free agent barring not getting a contract tender offer.
The Boston Celtics will have the option to make Marcus Smart an unrestricted free agent if they choose this route. Doing so would eliminate a cap hold on the Celtics’ books while allowing Smart to go to the NBA team of his choice.
Marcus Smart’s future with the Boston Celtics has been a question for months. Once the Celtics could not agree on terms (courtesy of Boston Sports Journal) on a contract extension with Smart it was widely speculated that he could be the odd man out.
The Boston Celtics are in the position to turn Marcus Smart into a first-round draft pick if the right team comes along with a solid offer. The Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves are two potential trade partners for the Celtics if a Marcus Smart deal takes place.