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.