Aaron Gordon’s hypothetical arrival in Boston won’t necessarily be part of a Marcus Smart trade.
Trade talks the Boston’s Celtics have had with the Orlando Magic over Gordon haven’t included Smart as a potential piece in the deal, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported Tuesday, citing NBA sources. Smart is one of the Celtics’ most important players, and the Magic reportedly prefer NBA draft picks over established players in any deal for Gordon.
“In their discussions with various teams around the league, the Magic appear to be focused on draft capital,” Himmelsbach wrote. “And Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has made it quite clear in the past how reluctant he would be to part with Smart, who is the heart and soul of this team.”
Smart’s mix of talent and competitiveness has made him an attractive target for teams ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, with rumors linking him to the Atlanta Hawks and Magic among other teams.
The Celtics are 21-22 and have slipped to eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite their struggles and failure to meet high expectations, the Celtics seem unlikely to shake up their roster dramatically by including Smart in a potential trade for Gordon.
Perhaps Boston is taking the same stance on Smart in trade talks with other teams, too.