Marcus Smart “knew” the Celtics were going to trade him at some point, he just didn’t know when.
A deal ultimately came to pass this past offseason, when Boston included its previous longest-tenured player in a three-team trade that yielded Kristaps Porzingis. Smart now resides in Memphis, where his tenacious playing style should be greatly appreciated by a Grizzlies team that’s expected to be in the mix for the Western Conference crown.
Memphis acquiring Smart wasn’t a case of a player falling into its lap. As general manager Zach Klemain explained back in July, the Grizzlies really wanted to add the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, who has a chance to be a perfect fit with his new team. Smart appreciates how he’s valued in Memphis, and he took a little dig at his former team to express that point.
No Matchup Found
Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.
Story continues below advertisement
“You always want to be where you’re wanted, and another team’s trash is another team’s gold. So I’m glad to be here,” Smart told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. “I’m glad to be on an organization that wants me and sees me (have) great value. So I’m ecstatic and I’m ready to get going.”
Smart previously stressed he still feels “all love” toward the Celtics and the city of Boston despite the trade. That said, the 29-year-old always plays with a chip on his shoulder, and being sold off by the C’s now looks like extra motivation.
As such, you can bank on Smart playing with an edge Feb. 4 when he takes the TD Garden floor for the first time as a visitor.
Featured image via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images