The NBA trade deadline is a little over two weeks away which means it’s once again white knuckle time for Marcus Smart and his legions of fans.
Smart signed a four-year, $77 million extension this past summer with the idea that he would be the Celtics point guard of the present and future and form a Big-3 with all-star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
That hasn’t worked so well to date as the Celtics have languished in mediocrity for the entire season, inching back over .500 following Tuesday night’s blowout win over the Sacramento Kings.
On the latest edition of the Garden Report on CLNS Media, Jeff Goodman said it may be time to pull the plug on the Marcus Smart experiment.
“This version of a big three that includes Marcus Smart is not good enough,” said Goodman. “You can’t just give him the keys and say, you’re our point guard. We’ve seen that this year. That doesn’t work for anything more than a middle-of-the-road team. You’ve got Marcus Smart as your point guard with two NBA All-Stars, and you can’t get out of the play-in game.”
Boston is currently battling with the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, and Atlanta Hawks for four play-in spots. One of those five teams will almost certainly end up missing it entirely.
Goodman thinks the best path forward for the Celtics is to trade Smart ahead of the February 10 deadline. Although, he doesn’t think it will be easy.
“I think you’ve gotta try to move Marcus. His contract isn’t immovable, but it’s not easy. You’ve gotta be a team that understands the value of Marcus Smart and need that.”
Recent rumors have connected Smart to teams such as the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz – two teams that could use some defensive help on the perimeter.
According to Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com, Brad Stevens is expected to be “extremely active” around the trade deadline.