Fans and media alike are aware of the fact that this Boston Celtics team may wind up looking completely different come the tip-off to the 2021-22 campaign.
Due to their highly disappointing 2020-21 season where they won a pedestrian 36 games and were bounced in the first-round via gentleman’s sweep, many seem to be quite ok with such an idea.
That said, due to their lacking cap flexibility, the main method of going about making shake-ups to this Cs squad will likely be by means of trade, as Brad Stevens and co. won’t have much of a shot at the top names found in this year’s free agency class.
We’ve already seen the team’s willingness to make moves in this fashion, as they kicked off the offseason by shipping Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City in exchange for a package centered around Al Horford.
Now, a few weeks after the transaction took place, many are trying to figure out what the next move may be for this franchise, with some being under the impression that the Cs could ultimately wind up looking to trade their most valuable non-untouchable asset in seventh-year guard, Marcus Smart.
To some, seeing the life-blood of Boston Celtics basketball being dealt would be a tough blow for the organization, while others believe that it’s simply time to move on.
For us at the Houdini, we fall somewhere in the middle of these two trains of thought.
While Smart becoming a Celtic-lifer would be a nice sight to see, ultimately, should the right deal present itself, the Swiss Army man should not be viewed as “off the table.”
That said, though we believe that the 27-year-old could be used as a trade chip, this does not mean we believe he should be dealt for any player across the league’s landscape.
When it comes to talents that are in the realm of possibility to be traded in exchange for Marcus Smart, there are 3, in specific, that we view as worthy of such a swap:
Boston Celtics trade target No. 1) Dejounte Murray
Ultimately, such a move was never really pursued, and many readers flooded our comments sections suggesting that the Spurs would not consider trading the point guard due to his age and skill set.
Fast forward one season later, and we see that rumblings are now surfacing that suggest San Antonio may be willing to part ways with the 24-year-old this summer, as The Athletic’s, Zach Harper, reports (subscription required) that Murray could be considered “gettable.”
A multi-faceted talent who has earned the reputation of being one of the best perimeter defenders in the game today, the point guard being swapped for Smart makes a ton of sense for the Celtics in so many ways, for such a move manages to snag a similarly impactful Swiss Army man, would fill the void at their starting one, and allows the team to get younger in the process.
This past season, Murray played in 67 games for the Spurs where he posted averages of 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 steals on 45 percent shooting from the field.
Though not a marksman from deep by any means, the fifth-year guard has managed to convert on 33.5 percent of his 3-point attempts over the last two seasons, which is right around the same mark that Smart has shot at during this timespan (34 percent).
If the Boston Celtics actually wind up looking to move on from Marcus Smart this summer, perhaps a fun replacement method would be to replace him with someone of a similar ilk and at a discounted price in comparison to what the vet may wind up earning in free agency next offseason.