Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart could be traded this summer in light of recent NBA rumors detailing reported frustrations he caused for Brad Stevens.
Stevens, who served as Boston’s coach from 2013-’21, replaced Danny Ainge as the team’s director of basketball operations this spring. Now leading in the front office, Stevens’ interactions with players as a coach might influence another offseason move.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, sources indicate that Stevens became increasingly frustrated with Smart’s unpredictable play in the past few years. Despite the 27-year-old guard being one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, two sources told Mannix that it’s more likely Smart is traded this summer than signed to an extension.
- Marcus Smart stats (2020-’21): 13.1 points, 5.7 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 Defensive Win Shares, 113 DefRtg
It wouldn’t be the first time Stevens’ feelings about a player he coached a few months ago influenced his decision as Boston’s top basketball executive. He orchestrated the blockbuster Kemba Walker trade and reports surfaced later detailing the rocky relationship between the two.
Another factor at play is Smart’s contract. While Boston might have some interest in keeping the talented guard as part of its core, a trade could help other needs on the roster.
- Marcus Smart contract: $14.339 million cap hit (2021-’22)
Ultimately, Stevens is going to shape this roster to fit the vision he holds for the team. If that means trading away another point guard, there will be plenty of teams interested in acquiring Smart.