In a new article by Bleacher Report, writer Gregg Swartz suggests the Boston Celtics could send a trade package consisting of Marcus Smart to Utah in exchange for a potential answer at the pivot.
While the Boston Celtics have proven to be one of the best squads in the association throughout the 2019-20 campaign, that doesn’t mean people won’t stop trying to see how they can figure out ways to potentially better the team moving forward.
Frankly, here at the Houdini, playing the role of general manager is somewhat of a pastime.
Don’t get me wrong, we love every single member of this current shamrocks squad, and believe their core of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Marcus Smart rivals virtually any other team’s in the NBA.
That said, to say we don’t enjoy throwing out hypothetical trade scenarios that sometimes involve some of those in said core would be an absolute farce, and we are most certainly not the only other publication to partake in this activity.
Recently, Bleacher Report published an article discussing one offseason trade every team should consider. From Devin Booker to Bradley Beal, writer Gregg Swartz talks about many hypothetical scenarios in which some of the league’s most polarizing figures switch zip-codes.
This includes one specific Salt Lake City talent being sent to the 02114.
In Swartz’s trade exploration piece, we see him suggest that the Boston Celtics should consider trading Marcus Smart, along with Robert Williams, Romeo Langford, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Utah Jazz in exchange for All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
Referring to this move as the Cs going “all-in”, the article goes on to state:
Gobert gives Boston the NBA’s best defensive center, someone who can play alongside four smaller wings and protect the rim while setting hard screens and finishing lobs.
Now listen, we here at HH understand the impact a guy like Gobert would have on this team moving forward. Heck, we’ve even concocted our own hypothetical packages in the past to land the Stifle Tower.
But even we know where to draw the line in a deal for solely just Gobert and, call us crazy, it starts with Smart.
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Again, it’s obvious that the perennial All-Star would be a great addition to the C’s current starting lineup. Posting averages of 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, and two blocks per game on 70 percent shooting from the field Gobert is in the midst of yet another stellar season with Utah, anchoring the way, alongside Donovan Mitchell, to a fourth-seeded record in the Western Conference of 41-23.
As for his fit with the Celtics, the 2x Defensive Player of the Year and 3x NBA All-Defensive First Team selection would be a true luxury to have down low in Beantown. He’d be a perfect player to defend the rim from the behemoths of the east in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid and would improve the team’s second chance attempts on offense with his stellar rebounding skills — fourth in the NBA in total offensive rebounds (211).
Still, while all of this is in fact true, giving up a guy like Smart for Gobert alone just doesn’t seem worth it for the shamrocks.
Currently in his sixth season in the league, Smart has simply become the heart and soul of Boston Celtics basketball. Able to fill numerous holes within the rotation — even at the center position on occasion — while also willing to put it all on the line in an effort to help the team attain a win, the 26-year-old has proven himself to be somewhat of a Swiss Army man for the Celtics during his impressive tenure.
Currently boasting averages of 13.5 points, 4.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game on a career-high 35 percent shooting from deep, Smart is finding himself in the midst of his best season as a pro.
Sure, on paper, a deal such as the one Swartz is proposing makes the Celtics better. But for the Cs in real life, losing Smart, along with the highly underrated Theis, the passion project Williams, the promising rookie Langford, AND a 2020 first-round pick seems like too great of a loss for just one guy.
Losing these guys — specifically Smart — could wind up negatively impacting the team’s impressive chemistry they’ve managed to build in 2019-20 (currently hold a 43-21 record, good for third-best in the east and fifth-best in the NBA) and sorely diminishes the talent level on their already lackluster second unit.
And this is all without even including the fact that, while Gobert is obviously a gifted player, the Celtics could theoretically find a talent in this year’s draft with one of their three first-round selections that could provide similar attributes to what he would bring (rebounding, interior defense, efficient scoring) while also adding something he can’t provide — perimeter shooting.
Now, we obviously understand that a major difference between the Jazz star and any of these incoming prospects is the fact that we actually know how effective Gobert is at this level. Any rookie that will be brought in is most definitely an uncertain commodity.
Nevertheless, taking a chance on a big-man such as, say, Jalen Smith, Daniel Oturu, or even Vernon Carey Jr. would likely be more beneficial for the Boston Celtics, as they would easily be cheaper options than Gobert and the team could still keep their core completely intact, sacrificing no chemistry while improving their roster along the way.
Do not get things twisted, we’re always advocates for concocting hypothetical trade scenarios in an attempt to make this already intimidating team even more menacing.
However, in the grand scheme of things, the Cs would probably be better off sitting out on a trade such as this.