NBA Rumors: Celtics Place Marcus Smart On The Trading Block
Marcus Smart, who will enter this third season, hasn’t lived up to potential through his first two years and the Boston Celtics view him as a trading chip if an all-star caliber player becomes available via trade.Advertisement
Even though the likes of Jimmy Butler and DeMarcus Cousins, who the Celtics have tried to trade for in the past, aren’t available at the moment, a player like Jahlil Okafor and/or Nerlens Noel can still be had for the right price.
Are the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers working on a trade that would send Smart to the Sixers and Noel to Boston? Not at the moment. But it’s highly likely that this trade could go down.
Noel has hinted this summer that he’d like to be traded to Boston if the Sixers front office, led by GM Bryan Colangelo, find an apt trade for the third year center.
Marcus Smart for Nerlens Noel?
Smart and Noel are actually very similar players. Both have excelled on the defensive end but have shown little ability to thrive as consistent scorers.
Last season, Smart, shot a paltry 35 per cent from the field and 25 per cent from deep for his 9.1 points per game from 61 games. But he was still Celtics’ third best wing defender after Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
Similarly, Noel struggled to shoot the rack from the 10-12 ft. range even though he improved his ability to finish put back dunks and converted an impressive 52 per cent of his field goal attempts.
Zach Harper of CBS Sports, who strongly encourages a Noel-for-Smart swap reasoned why the trade makes sense for both teams.
“The Celtics are guard-heavy at the moment, and adding Noel would give them one of the best defensive frontcourts in basketball (if not the best) with Jae Crowder, Noel and Horford.
“Also, he’d be a great lob partner for guys like Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley to use in the pick-and-roll. You can play Noel with Kelly Olynyk, as well, to cover up Olynyk’s defensive issues,” Harper wrote last week.
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How Smart can help Philly…
Harper also explained why Marcus Smart would be the perfect young player to help the Sixers’ backcourt depth. The Sixers had to sign veterans Jerryd Bayless and Gerald Henderson Jr. this offseason, who are temporary solutions.
However, Sixers still need a longterm solution at the 1 spot.
“From the Sixers’ perspective, this (trading for Smart) addresses their perimeter issues, and while you could argue you’re selling low on Noel here, you could also argue you’d be buying low on Smart. For Boston, it would be all about roster flexibility,” added Harper.
Marcus Smart for Nerlens Noel sounds like a win-win trade. Would the two teams pull the trigger?