The Celtics parted ways with three players and two future draft picks Thursday.
Marcus Smart was not one of the assets Danny Ainge shipped out of Boston ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline, and flipping the veteran guard apparently never was considered by the Celtics front office.
Smart was the subject of a slew of rumors as the deadline neared, given the expectation that the C’s were going to be active on the trade front. But according to Ainge, there was no truth to the chatter.
“Yeah, that was all just made-up stuff,” Ainge said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” as transcribed by Forbes’ Chris Grenham. “I did read one headline that said something about ‘the Celtics are going to trade a few first-round picks and Marcus Smart for this specific guy.’ Yeah, I don’t even know where that comes from, quite honestly.”
One could argue Smart is the heart and soul of these Celtics, so trading the seventh-year pro might have been detrimental to Boston’s locker room. Not to mention, Ainge admitted he’s felt a sense of “discouragement” among the Celtics of late, and trading Smart could’ve diminished team morale even further.
Smart’s situation in Boston still is one worth monitoring, however. His contract is set to expire following the 2021-22 campaign, so trade rumors likely will continue to follow him into next season.