The Marcus Smart era in Boston soon could be over.
Celtics president Brad Stevens has grown less enamored with Smart in recent years and might be willing to deal the veteran guard, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported Monday morning, citing sources. In fact, Boston pursued a Smart trade last season.
The recent reported acquisitions of Josh Richardson and Kris Dunn — both elite defenders — seemingly have created redundancy on the roster and could facilitate Smart’s exit.
From Mannix’s column:
Boston’s acquisition of Josh Richardson could spell the end of Marcus Smart’s run in Boston. Smart has become a fan favorite over seven years in Boston, but Brad Stevens has been frustrated by Smart’s unpredictable play in recent years, per sources. Smart, one of the NBA’s better perimeter defenders, is entering the final year of his contract. Boston could extend Smart, but two people familiar with Stevens thinking tell SI it’s more likely Stevens will look to trade Smart before the start of the season. Boston shopped Smart last season, seeking multiple first round picks, a team executive with knowledge of the discussions told SI.
The Celtics selected Smart sixth overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Oklahoma State product since has become a core — and somewhat polarizing — piece of Boston’s foundation. Considered by some the best defensive guard in the NBA, Smart is a career 38 percent shooter on field goals and a 32 percent shooter from 3-point range.
He averaged 13.1 points per game last season.
As for potential guards that Boston could pursue, keep an eye on free agent veteran Spencer Dinwiddie.