Marcus Smart is the embodiment of hard work, effort, and tenacious defense.
He represents the city of Boston much like the fiery competitors the team employed before him, and his recent surge as a distributor has been fantastic and exciting to watch.
But what many people don’t realize at the moment is that Smart is about as expendable as he is ever going to get, as the Celtics have one of the deepest backcourts in the entire league. With Isaiah Thomas, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and even Avery Bradley, the Celtics are well equipped to dump one of them off in a potential trade this summer.
Here is my opinion on why the odd man out should be Smart:
1. He’s a liability on offense
I am one of Smart’s biggest fans, as his defense is a problem for any player on the court to handle. In an article I had read before, it was noted that many players have the tendency to act like a guard in a power forward’s body, but Smart was the opposite: He is a power forward in a point guard’s body. His defensive versatility is something that fits extremely well with what the Celtics designed the roster to be.
With that being said, it’s important to note Marcus Smart is a liability on the offensive end. His shooting numbers are putrid, or average at best, and his best shot at scoring consistently comes in the post, as he bullies smaller guards to get his offense going. The Celtics have many options when it comes to matching up with the likes of the Cavaliers and the Warriors, as they still have one of, if not the best, perimeter defenders in Avery Bradley. Because of this, and the fact that the two players slated to be picked top 2 are guards, the Celtics should look to trade Smart for a big man that can fix some of the holes in the roster: Rebounding, Rim protection, etc.
2. His value has peaked
Danny Ainge, should he take this advice and look to trade Smart, has a lot of things to work with.
Smart is an up and coming player who consistently makes winning plays and has improved his passing game tremendously. He is still a young, controlled contract that should make GM’s everywhere scramble to put a package together for him. People forget Marcus was picked 6th overall in his draft, but could have gone much higher if he had declared a year sooner, potentially even going #1 overall. Because of this, I believe the Celtics could get a decent return for him, whether it be a big man or a couple of potential picks in the future. What the trade for Marcus could look like is a different article altogether.
3. The Celtics need a true Center
If the Celtics do manage to trade Marcus, the ideal trade partner would be somebody that has big bodies left and right (I see you 76ers). Perhaps a trade of Marcus Smart for Jahlil Okafor straight up would make sense for both teams, as it would give the 76ers an established point guard who is a nightmare on the defensive end, something they currently need at the 1 spot. If not, then perhaps a run at the Buck’s Thon Maker would make sense.
In my opinion, a trade for Maker makes the most sense. A big and lanky 7 footer, Thon Maker has the skill set to be a problem on both ends of the floor, especially on defense. With comparisons to Kevin Garnett, Maker has created a lot of hype for himself in Milwaukee, and rightfully so. If the Celtics manage to trade for Maker by offering Marcus Smart and a first rounder or two, it would make sense in order to complete a frontcourt that is sorely lacking athleticism as it currently stands.