As noted a week ago on the HoopsHype podcast, the Boston Celtics are looking to upgrade in the frontcourt and are eyeing trading up in the draft to get Onyeka Okongwu or even James Wiseman, HoopsHype has learned the Celtics called as high as the Golden State Warriors at No. 2 overall to gauge trade interest. Marcus Smart was made available, but talks didn’t escalate.
The Boston Celtics held exploratory talks that would send Marcus Smart to the Golden State Warriors for the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft recently, league sources told The Action Network Wednesday.
Talks fell through on both sides, sources said, and more discussions are not expected after the Celtics rejected an unknown counteroffer.
The most gettable name might wind up being New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, but he turned 30 in June and can hit free agency in 2021. Celtics guard Marcus Smart was mentioned as another good fit, yet it's hard to see Boston being willing to move him.
The reality is, the Celtics don't have easy options even if they were determined to upgrade in the middle. While one could have some fun with the Trade Machine, Boston has made it clear to anyone who has asked that their core players are absolutely not available. That includes, sources said, both Hayward and Smart, players who have been floated as possible trade chips in the past.
The Boston Celtics were serious about trading for Davis, as well. They were willing to discuss young, talented players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, according to sources close to the negotiations. But the Celtics were never going to give up as much as the Lakers.
Chrix Mannix: I don't think Boston is anti-Smart. I think they looked at the landscape for this summer when they were negotiating with him last summer [on an extension], and said, 'Well, who's gonna offer you the kind of money you're looking for?' Marcus Smart is very much in this team's plans.
Chrix Mannix: My understanding of the [Marcus Smart] trade talks was that Boston wanted a good first-round pick for him and that was largely so they could put that in another package and see if they could get another player. I don't think they were ever down on Marcus Smart.
Memphis had preferred either Marcus Smart in exchange for Tyreke Evans and a second-rounder, or a first-round pick in exchange for Evans, but Boston was not willing to meet that price. Boston explored a three-way framework with the Denver Nuggets and Memphis as well, but did not make significant progress. Memphis scoured the league for a first-round pick in exchange for Evans, but found no takers as the deadline came to a close.
Chris Mannix: Sources: Boston has made no deals, standing pat at the deadline and keeping guard Marcus Smart. Celtics value Smart tremendously -- showed it in talks with other teams.
Shams Charania: [The Celtics] have looked into moving Marcus Smart. They've talked to teams about 'Can we get a first-rounder [for him]? Can we get a blue-chip talent?' Utah is also facing the same issues with Rodney Hood. No one in the marketplace is giving up a first-round pick and a blue-chip talent, you're just not seeing that on the market. So to me, it's a lot of 'We're gonna see what the value is; we're gonna see if we can hit a home run with it.' And that's what Boston is trying to do. I definitely think they have their mind set on getting a blue-chip talent and a first-round pick, which, in this environment, is going to be difficult.
Jared Weiss: To restate with the recent rumors, indications the last 2 days were that a Smart for Mudiay deal was not going anywhere. The price for Boston was a first and a good rotation player, something they aren't getting at this point. Things can change quickly Thursday afternoon though. All indications based on conversations with people with knowledge of the situation, plus the market conditions this year and this offseason are that a Smart deal seems unlikely.
Several league executives told the Herald that there is presently no real smoke, let alone fire, to the Marcus Smart trade rumors in advance of Thursday’s trade deadline. Those people indicated things could always change as teams get antsy in approach of last call, but clubs that may have inquired about Smart after reading reports found a fairly cool reception.
From what we can gather, the Celts are indeed discomforted by the uncertainty with signing Smart beyond this year, but they see him as a key piece to this season’s playoff run. Sources indicate that Danny Ainge will likely only move Smart if he can get back someone who will help the club more in the present -- or if trading Smart brings back an asset Ainge can then move for such a player.
So while sources confirmed again that the Celts still have interest in Memphis’ Tyreke Evans and the Clippers’ Lou Williams, both of whom are in the last year of their contracts, it’s doubtful that Ainge would do anything amounting to either being the only real return in a deal for Smart. There would have to be more.
Marc Stein: Denver is among the teams that has explored Marcus Smart trade scenarios with Boston, according to league sources. Emmanuel Mudiay has been made available, sources say, but the Celts covet a first-round pick for Smart
League sources tell Celtics Wire interest is increasing for Marcus Smart ahead of the NBA trade deadline, as the Celtics approach a crossroads this offseason.
League-wide interest in trading for Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has increased ahead of the NBA trade deadline, league sources tell Celtics Wire. The price has been a first-round pick and a rotation player according to sources.
Boston has thrived off the sixth man rotation of Smart and Rozier this year, but are well aware of Rozier’s public statements that he wants to be a starter in the near future. His performances of late have proven he is approaching starting-caliber play, even if it’s too small a sample size to be conclusive. Meanwhile, Smart has been comfortable with his sixth man role in Boston and made it clear to the Celtics that he wants to stay long-term, per sources.
But one of the keys to Boston’s plans moving forward is staying in position to strike on Anthony Davis, or any other transcendent player that hits the market. They have more high-value assets to offer than anyone and their plan to wait out the Davis situation is paying off after DeMarcus Cousins’ unfortunate Achilles tear once again puts the prospects of Davis’ long-term success in New Orleans into question. Boston currently doesn’t have much salary to match a trade for Davis without giving up Al Horford, so signing Smart to a market deal would open up a situation similar to what just happened with Blake Griffin. Smart has been looking for a multi-year deal though and would not be interested in a short-term, above-market salary deal per sources.
The Boston Celtics have some decisions to make. After adding Greg Monroe to the team yesterday, the Celtics may not be done dealing. And according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they could be convinced to part ways with a core member of their team, Marcus Smart.
“You talk about Marcus Smart, he’s a player that’s available for a first round pick. If a team was willing to give Boston a first, Boston would look at,” Woj said in the latest edition of his podcast with Bobby Marks. “If they didn’t have to take back a lot of money going out in the future. He’s restricted this summer, you don’t know what it will cost to keep him.” “He’s proven he can help you win a playoff game or two. He doesn’t shoot great from 3-point line, some of the things you want from a guard in this day and age. He defends, he’s super competitive. But they can’t pay everybody in Boston and they’re going to have to make decisions. But does a team want to give up a first for a player when they don’t know what it will cost to keep him. I’m not sure that will happen. But I think certainly if they were going to make a move with one of their core guys, there’s potential that it’s going to be Smart.”
The Knicks have expressed interest in acquiring Celtics guard Marcus Smart, according to a league source.
The Celtics could make Smart available as they try to clear salary cap space to sign Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128-million deal. But it’s unclear if the Celtics will have to or want to part with Smart if they can work out a sign-and-trade with Utah for Hayward.
Boston has already renounced its rights to Kelly Olynyk, a key offensive spark off the bench with his ability to score from the perimeter. Now it looks as though the Celtics will have to trade away one of its elite defenders in order to continue shedding salary. And the three targets most teams have focused on, are Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart. Terry Rozier is also available, but the market for the aforementioned players has been much stronger.
“Boston has to unload one of those three,” a league source texted CSNNE.com on Wednesday. “And to be candid, it really doesn’t matter which one. All three of them, no matter where they end up, will help a team.”
Because the salary cap did not rise as much as projected, they will likely have to trade one or more of those three players to sign Hayward. Sources told ESPN that Boston has discussed trade concepts involving those players with at least half a dozen teams on Wednesday.
Ian Begley: Boston reached out to people with NYK about Marcus Smart, per sources. The Knicks' level of interest in Smart at the moment is unclear.
Ian Begley: The Knicks continue to be in touch with Rajon Rondo. ESPN reported on the first day of free agency that the Knicks touched base with both Rondo and Darren Collison, though there was no substantive conversation regarding either player. The Knicks have continued to be in touch with Rondo, sources confirm. But there is no scheduled meeting yet. Some people in touch with the Knicks recently came away with the impression that NYK didn't have strong interest in Rondo. The Knicks are looking for a point guard to mentor Frank Ntilikina, according to sources. Derrick Rose and Shelvin Mack are other point guards on their radar. The Knicks heard from the Celtics, who are open to trading Marcus Smart. The club's interest in Smart is not know. The Knicks' most-recent contact with Rondo was first reported by Basketball Insiders.
Brian Robb: Don't be surprised to hear trade talks on Crowder, Bradley and Smart in coming hours/days. C's will undoubtedly test market on all of them.
GM Danny Ainge wanted to acquire another lottery selection in addition to the team’s top-3 pick and he dangled everyone on the team in trade discussions, including Isaiah Thomas, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reports. “Before the draft last year, Danny was trying to get two picks, not just Jaylen Brown,” ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan told Bob Ryan on his podcast (h/t Comcast Sportsnet). “He was on the phone with everybody from coast to coast, and he was offering everybody. That includes Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas, and anything else they needed to get where he wanted to go. There were no untouchables on that team last year.”
The Celtics have talked intermittently with the Clippers about Blake Griffin, per several league sources, but a deal is extremely unlikely. Griffin will be a free agent this summer, and Boston would probably need official permission to talk to him about his future -- a concession Minnesota allowed Cleveland before the Kevin Love trade. The Clips would ask for a bounty, starting with Jae Crowder and one of the Avery Bradley/Marcus Smart duo, plus picks, per league sources.
There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline. The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets' first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then.
The Celtics have one of the NBA’s better backcourts, a nice blend of offense (Isaiah Thomas), defense (Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier) and a burgeoning star capable of both (Avery Bradley). It’s also one of the league’s most affordable, with Bradley ($8.3 million) and Thomas ($6.6 million) making well below market value, and Smart and Rozier on rookie deals. That will change soon. Smart is eligible for an extension in 2017. A $10 million-plus offer will be the starting point of negotiations. Thomas and Bradley will be free agents in 2018, eligible for max salaries of $32.4 million per season. Neither will likely come near that, but understand: This is the ballpark Boston is playing in. The Celtics won’t pay all of them. They can’t pay all of them, not if they want to continue to pursue another impact player. If the Celtics make a significant trade, it will undoubtedly include one or more of their star guards.
The Celtics reportedly tried to trade up to pick Embiid in the 2014 NBA Draft. "The Celtics were trying to trade the sixth pick that year, which ended up being Marcus Smart," said Bill Simmons. "They were trying to trade the sixth pick and the Brooklyn pick (17th overall pick) to move up to three to pick Embiid even though he was hurt."
June 1, 2023 | 5:22 am EDT Update
Bob Myers to ESPN now?
ESPN has expressed an interest in hiring Bob Myers, the Golden State Warriors executive who stepped down as president and general manager on Tuesday. The talks are very early on, sources told Front Office Sports. The two-time executive of the year is likely to be barraged by offers from other NBA franchises.
Windhorst: Miami makes a lot of sense if Damian Lillard becomes available
However, if the 32-year-old were to become available, NBA insider Brian Windhorst thinks the Miami Heat would make a lot of sense as a potential landing spot. “It feels strange to me to talk about a team in the Finals, like the Miami Heat, but the Miami Heat make a lot of sense if Dame were to become available,” he said. “They have a number of future first-round picks they can trade. They have a number of interesting young players. It would be a really fascinating opportunity if he were to come to market.”
Michael Malone compared Nikola Jokic to Tim Duncan
“He’s not trying to be something he’s not. He’s not trying to create a narrative other than ‘I’m Nikola Jokic, I play for the Denver Nuggets, I’m gonna do everything I can to help my team win and I’m gonna do it with class, professionalism and I’m never gonna make it about me. That’s the rarity,” Malone said of Jokic. “I often make the comparison, I never coached Tim Duncan, but just from coaching against him and hearing stories about those that have been around him, Tim Duncan was a selfless superstar. I look at Nikola Jokic in the same vein. I think Nikola Jokic is truly selfless superstar, where it’s not about him. He’s not looking for people to ‘Look at me, tell me how great I am’. He’s almost embarrassed by the attention. He’s just wants to be one of the guys in the locker room, have fun, work hard and win.”
Malika Andrews: Why didn’t Jimmy Butler want to hold the Eastern Conference Finals trophy? “I play for Mr. O’Brien… You can take the All-Stars… You can take the All-NBA. All defensive team, don’t care. I really only want to win a championship.” pic.twitter.com/wu6fOERIOW
Clutch Points: “Out of everybody that I’ve guarded, that we’ve guarded in the playoffs, Jimmy could arguably be the most complete player.” Aaron Gordon speaks highly of Jimmy Butler 😮 Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/dKoD3mITg6
Clutch Points: “People used to compare me to [Usher] a lot… I look like him!” Paul George says that people used to compare him to Usher when he was younger and then breaks out in song 😂 Thoughts? 🤔 (via @PodcastPShow) pic.twitter.com/0aXkHcygoC
Reporter: “How’s your ankle? You injured it against the Knicks and tweaked it in Game 7. Are you 100% or is that a look that tells me you’re gonna lie right now?” Jimmy Butler: “No, I’m not gonna lie. I’m gonna say that nobody cares. You don’t either. I’m still expected to do my job at a high level.”
The first surgery occurred during his freshman year at Missouri in 2017, in which he played just 53 minutes in three games; the second occurred before the start of his rookie year with the Denver Nuggets in 2018, causing him to miss the entire season. He had barely played basketball for two years. Now he was facing a prolonged absence again. The game he so brilliantly dominated felt like it had been stolen from him, and all he could do was helplessly wonder why. “Why?” he asked, lying on that bed a year and a half ago. “Why is this happening to me again?”