Marcus Smart Trade Rumors: Celtics Star Not Expected to Command More Than Late 1st

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets in Game Five of the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on June 01, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

New Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will likely want to shake up the team's roster after a disappointing 36-36 season and first-round playoff exit. 

One player who could be on the move is Marcus Smart, who has one year left on his current contract before becoming a free agent. But he may not bring back the sort of return Boston needs to revitalize its roster. 

According to Brian Robb of MassLive.com, "One league source told MassLive that getting a late first-round pick for Smart would be a challenge unless Boston took back an unattractive contract as part of the deal."

The Celtics won't have any cap maneuverability outside of the mid-level exception, meaning they won't be players in free agency. So if they are going to make meaningful changes and/or additions to their roster, it will come via trades and the draft.

Walker won't be easy to move either, however, as he's owed $36 million next season and holds a $37.6 million player option for the 2022-23 campaign. That's a bad contract for a player who never looked like himself this past season and, at 31, may be on the wrong side of his prime. 

The 27-year-old Smart remains firmly in his prime and a very strong perimeter defender. He averaged career highs in points (13.1 PPG) and assists (5.7 APG) this past season, though he shot just 39.8 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. 

That's always been the rub with Smart—he's a plus defender and his effort and intensity is clear, but he's limited on the offensive end. 

Still, if the Celtics do make him available, he'll have suitors. Smart is the type of player that contenders needing an upgrade on the defensive end would love to add. What they'll be willing to pay for a potential one-year rental is another story entirely.