Grizzlies analyst: Trading ex-Boston Celtics DPOY Marcus Smart for Knicks star 'worth strongly considering'

Portland Trail Blazers v Memphis Grizzlies
Portland Trail Blazers v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Evidently, Marcus Smart doesn't mean nearly as much to the Memphis Grizzlies fanbase as he did to Boston Celtics fanatics whose hearts were broken when the former Defensive Player of the Year was shipped out of Boston in June 2023.

Beale Street Bears' Mark Nilon believes swapping Smart, Ziaire Williams, Jake LaRavia, and a 2026 second-round pick (via the Los Angeles Clippers) for New York Knicks star Julius Randle -- a proposal concocted by FanSided's Josh Cornelissen -- is "worth strongly considering" if Jarren Jackson Jr. is willing to handle playing at the 5.

"While there are many moving pieces attached to this deal, with easily the most noteworthy being the concept of moving on from Marcus Smart after coughing up two first rounders last summer to get him, should the Grizzlies be comfortable with playing Jackson Jr. at the five on a full-time basis this deal could actually be quite beneficial for the ball club," Nilon wrote.

"Though this proposed move may not necessarily be a "no-brainer" idea for this title-hungry Grizzlies team, at the very least it's one worth strongly considering."

Marcus Smart's career taking severe narrative hit with Boston Celtics thriving in his absence and Grizzlies faltering

Letting go of Smart was something Celtics fans had nightmares about for the better part of his nine years in Boston. His name was thrown into rumors about everyone from Anthony Davis to Kevin Durant, but it was a second-effort attempt to land Kristaps Porzingis after the Los Angeles Clippers vetoed a deal including Malcolm Brogdon due to his health that ultimately was the final chapter (for now) of Smart's Celtics story.

But for Memphis, packaging Smart after just 20 games in a Grizzlies uniform is seemingly on the table. And truthfully, it's understandable.

That Boston is thriving in Smart's absence and Memphis is faltering is a major narrative hit for No. 36's career; availability for the Grizz be damned. Especially if the Cs win it all, many will question Smart's contributions to Boston over the years.

And it's not fair. But the NBA is a cruel business when your team isn't winning, and you can multiply that ten-fold when your old team looks better than ever.

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