Perhaps Marcus Smart is worth more than Celtics fans realize.
The fiery guard remains a subject of trade rumors amid Boston’s apparent efforts toward retooling its roster. Some believe the Celtics, in the near future, either will extend Smart, who has one year left on his current deal, or use him in a trade for another star.
During the latest episode of Bill Simmons’s podcast, NBA insider Chris Mannix indicated the return for Smart actually could be quite sizable for Boston.
“If Portland keeps (Damian) Lillard — that’s why (CJ) McCollum is intriguing for Boston, because Smart would probably complement Lillard differently at least than McCollum does,” Mannix said. “The biggest problem in Portland is there’s no defensive backstop there. There’s nobody that can guard wings the way Smart can. So you put Smart next to Lillard, you take a lot of pressure off him in that sense. There’s a really good market for Marcus Smart.”
This isn’t the first time Mannix has floated McCollum as a potential offseason target for the Celtics. However, he also has reported that the Trail Blazers told the start guard they won’t trade him.
So, it’s hard to get a good read on this.
Nevertheless, McCollum would be a significant addition for Boston. McCollum, 29, is averaging 21.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range over his last six seasons.
The Lehigh University product has three years remaining on his current contract.