The latest NBA trade rumors are arriving with regards to the Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart a few days before the trade deadline hits. With Boston holding onto the top spot in the Eastern Conference as the league heads towards the All-Star break, the Celtics are looking to further strengthen their roster. Just recently, it was reported that the Denver Nuggets have been trying to make a deal with Boston to get Marcus Smart, but so far the Celtics aren’t getting what they want in return.
On Monday afternoon, The New York Times‘ Marc Stein reported that Denver has offered point guard Emmanual Mudiay as part of a trade to the Celtics for guard Marcus Smart. While Mudiay seems to have good value as far as a backup for Kyrie Irving, it’s not enough for the Celtics right now. Stein reiterates that the Celtics want a first-round draft pick in exchange for Smart.
Emmanuel Mudiay has been in the league since 2015-16 with the Nuggets. His first-season averages looked great as he was scoring about 13 points per game along with 5.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 3.4 rebounds a game. However, Mudiay’s numbers have dropped off since then. He also appeared in just 55 games last season, after playing in 68 for his debut season with Denver. So far this season, he’s appeared in 41 with zero starts.
On the other hand, the Celtics’ Marcus Smart has consistently improved his scoring and assists averages, even if he’s not the best offensive player out there. He’s averaging just over 10 points a game and 4.7 assists along with 1.3 steals and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Smart has appeared in 46 games this season and was a starter in 10 of them. Boston may feel that they’re giving Denver a bit more than they’re getting in return, though.
Smart is getting about 30 minutes per game, and as Bleacher Report‘s Rob Goldberg suggests, he’s been a key defensive asset for the Celtics. However, it’s also mentioned that they have a similar player in Terry Rozier so parting ways with Smart, might be beneficial depending on the deal. The Celtics guard was recently sidelined with an injury he sustained when he lacerated his hand on some glass in a hotel, requiring stitches.
The Nuggets are currently looking to add to their roster as they try to contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The team in the No. 8 spot right now, so they’d be in the postseason if the regular season ended today. However, there’s a lot more season left to play and the Nuggets are hoping to get things figured out in the short term by adding Smart. He’ll become a free agent at the end of this NBA season.
It’s being said that Denver is among other teams pursuing Marcus Smart ahead of the upcoming trade deadline. That official NBA trade deadline arrives when the clock hits 3 p.m. Eastern Time this Thursday.