The Boston Celtics continued an unfortunate tradition this offseason of blindsiding fan-favorite point guards with trades — doing as much to Marcus Smart in 2023 six years after the franchise did it to Isaiah Thomas. As Smart revealed, he was woken up in the middle of the night by his fiance when he learned his time with the Cs was done; despite being told a week prior that he was safe from the NBA trade block.
“It was definitely shocking to find out that way, especially because the week before, I was already told we were good, there were no trade talks with me and we were good,” Smart said (h/t CLNS Media). “I understand the business side of it, I’ve always been like that. I’m the first one to tell anyone, you can’t mix personal with business, it just doesn’t mix. I understand it’s a business. For me, it’s just the courtesy. They probably already knew they were thinking about trading me, they had this trade in their back pocket just in case something else didn’t happen. And for me, it’s just the simple fact, hey, we’re thinking about trading you, most likely we’ll trade you, just letting you know, thank you.” Back in 2017, when Thomas was traded for eventual Boston Celtics public enemy No. 1 Kyrie Irving, he too revealed shock at being dealt away.
“That’s just crazy,” Thomas said in a Players’ Tribune video, emotional after Celtics general manager Danny Ainge broke the news that he’d been dealt for Kyrie Irving (h/t SB Nation). “What are you talkin’ about? My kids are about to start school … Off the strength, after everything I went through … You’re not supposed to do that.”
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It’s never fun to hear players heartbroken about leaving a team, especially when said team seemingly did them dirty in the process. That’s how it feels in Smart’s case especially given what we saw from Thomas six years ago.
Smart is in a much better position than Thomas was, having already gotten a massive payday. But it’s clear that the Boston Celtics, as an organization, is run like a typical corporate monolith, and that’s sometimes hard as a fan to hear about.
Especially when fan-favorites tend to be the ones involved in these kinds of stories.