The player movement ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft continued on Wednesday with a blockbuster trade between contenders. In an attempt to solidify their roster, the Boston Celtics gave up guard Marcus Smart in order to acquire Kristaps Porzingis in a three-team trade.
Marcus Smart Didn’t See Trade Coming
The Celtics needed a tweak after coming up short yet again in the postseason, and are looking to capitalize on their current championship window. Porzingis is coming off a career year in the scoring department, and will provide Boston with the needed interior presence that they lacked.
But they have to give up one of their core pieces in Marcus Smart in order to make the deal work. And apparently, he didn’t expect to be dealt.
On The Pat McAfee show on Thursday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania shared his knowledge of the situation. He said that Smart, for a fact, did not see the trade coming until the team notified him 10-15 minutes before the news broke.
It is just the latest reminder of the cold business of the NBA. Over the weekend, Chris Paul was traded in a deal for Bradley Beal, and it was revealed that he found out from his son via text message while he was on an airplane.
Smart spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Celtics. He is known for his defensive prowess, having qualified for the All-NBA Defensive First Team three different times, and won the Defensive Player of the Year in 2022. He was the first guard to accomplish the feat since Gary Payton in 1996.
Grizzlies Are An Interesting Fit
Smart is being jettisoned away from a contender, but he will land in an interesting spot. The Grizzlies certainly have their internal issues, but they still have a talented roster that has a chance to compete in the West, and Smart’s arrival could help patch one of their biggest issues.
Memphis point guard Ja Morant is slated to miss the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season due to suspension, and the newcomer can help fill the shoes. Smart can man the point guard position until Morant is able to return, and would be able to slide seamlessly over to the 2-guard spot when the team is back at full strength.
Paired with Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies now have the last two DPOY winners currently on their roster.
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