The Boston Celtics pulled off a polarizing and franchise-altering trade late Wednesday night.
Marcus Smart, the longest-tenured Celtic, was sent to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a three-team trade involving the Washington Wizards that brought big man Kristaps Porzingis and two first-round draft picks to Boston. C’s president Brad Stevens put the deal together after the original plan — shipping Malcolm Brogdon to the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team trade — fell through.
Smart has been a beloved figure for nine seasons in Boston. The veteran guard was heralded for his toughness and considered the “heart and soul” of the team due to his unmatched effort. Despite that, the Celtics needed to part ways with one of their guards this summer, and Stevens and Co. ultimately decided adding Porzingis was worth ending Smart’s Celtics tenure.
Celtics great Cedric Maxwell shared his take on the trade during his appearance on Thursday’s “Early Edition.”
“Obviously, I’m a big fan of Marcus Smart. I think that he is going to be underrated, he’s going to be missed. But I do believe in what Brad Stevens does,” Maxwell said. “He’s a guy who’s buying the groceries, he’s making the decision, and one thing the Celtics did not have is the inside presence scoring. I think that’s one of the things that they truly need, and hopefully you can get it with Porzingis in the paint.”
While the C’s will benefit from Porzingis bolstering their frontcourt and providing another scoring threat alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Maxwell acknowledges they will miss Smart’s intangibles.
“You can’t put those down. The ability to pass, the ability to attack the rim,” Maxwell said. “You could never question his effort or his desire. Even in that game they got blown away in Miami, I think it was the third game, Marcus was still throwing elbows early in that game.
“When Marcus Smart comes back into the building with Memphis, it’s gonna be a huge standing ovation because of what he did for this basketball club.”
Smart was taken by the Celtics with the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 29-year-old is a three-time All-Defensive First Team selection, a three-time NBA Hustle Award recipient, and the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year.
Source: Yahoo Sports