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Celtics Rumors: Marcus Smart 'Likely Staying' in Boston After Lonzo Ball Joins Bulls

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Marcus Smart will reportedly remain with the only NBA team he has ever played for since entering the league as the No. 6 pick of the 2014 draft.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported the Boston Celtics will "likely" keep Smart after Lonzo Ball joined the Chicago Bulls. Murphy also noted Boston will likely only make roster additions that are considered "on the margins" with Ball no longer available.

The former Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans guard is headed to Chicago as part of a sign-and-trade deal:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball is landing on a four-year, $85 million contract with Chicago Bulls in a sign-and-trade agreement, his agent and <a href="https://twitter.com/KlutchSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KlutchSports</a> CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

The Chicago Bulls are sending Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple and a second-round pick to New Orleans for Lonzo Ball, who's signing a four-year, $85M contract, sources tell <a href="https://twitter.com/TheAthletic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheAthletic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Stadium?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Stadium</a>.

There was reportedly interest in Ball from Boston, as Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported in July. Perhaps Smart could have been a candidate to be included in a sign-and-trade with the Celtics, but the Bulls wasted no time securing the UCLA product on Monday.

While it appears as if Smart will remain with Boston for the upcoming season, it may not be for long.

After all, he is under contract through just the upcoming 2021-22 campaign, and Murphy noted he is looking for a four-year, $80 million max extension and "faces a tough negotiation" considering Boston is "targeting 2022 free agency."

Smart, 27, is not a star who can lead a team to a championship as the go-to offensive option, but he is a talented role player with two All-Defensive selections on his resume.

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He averaged 13.1 points, 5.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game during the 2021-22 campaign while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from three-point range. The shooting has always been a concern for the career 37.6 percent shooter, but he can facilitate in the offense as a distributor and defend the opponent's best player on the other end.

Opponents shot 1.9 percent worse than their normal averages from the field and 3.4 percent worse than their normal marks from deep when he guarded them this past season, per NBA.com.

That defense will apparently remain in Boston for the upcoming season as the Celtics look to compete for a playoff run in the Eastern Conference.

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