What would it take for the Boston Celtics to sell their soul? Apparently a lot.
Marcus Smart has been one of the most important players for Boston since the team drafted him in 2014, but for the entirety of his career, his name has been tossed around in trade rumors. The point guard is used to it, adopting a “pray for the best but prepare for the worst” mentality. Yet in the eighth year of his career, he still hasn’t been moved.
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, from years of coaching him, knows Smart is the heart and soul of Boston’s roster year after year. He spoke to that Thursday with rumors circulating about the 27-year-old once again, and one report from Bleacher Report suggests it would take a lot to move Smart.
“It’s a few weeks before the deadline, so it seems only fitting that Marcus Smart’s name has once again percolated in trade talk. But it will take significant value in return, sources said, for Boston to ever part with Smart,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported Thursday. “There’s still a sense around the league that a healthy Celtics unit could fare far better down the stretch of this regular season than Boston’s early growing pains under head coach Ime Udoka have so far produced.”
Boston was recently without Smart for an extended period of time while he was in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, and the Celtics certainly suffered in his absense.
But never say never. Smart fans won’t truly know he’s safe until the trade deadline passes on February 10.