Pair of rising guards can make ex-Boston Celtics heart and soul expendable on current team

Memphis Grizzlies v Brooklyn Nets
Memphis Grizzlies v Brooklyn Nets / Elsa/GettyImages

Beale Street Bears' Anthony Duckett believes that Vince Williams Jr. and GG Jackson could make former Boston Celtics heart and soul Marcus Smart expendable on the Memphis Grizzlies this summer -- opening up the potential for a trade in the offseason.

"The Marcus Smart experiment hasn't gone according to plan for the Grizzlies," Duckett wrote. "It's been made clear that Smart would be better suited for the second unit, paving the way for Vince Williams Jr. to be in the starting lineup. GG Jackson has also proven that he's worthy of legitimate minutes, as he's been a diamond in the rough. The combination of Jackson and Williams has made Smart expendable, and considering the Grizzlies' needs (primarily a big man),he could be the key to getting a legitimate piece.

"Smart is an aging player who Memphis can replace. Although Williams may not be as elite of a defender as Smart, he's a very good defender at a fraction of the cost, not to mention the age difference. Smart's $19 million could be the key to bringing in a player who can unlock Jaren Jackson Jr., as it would allow Memphis to bring in a big who can crash the glass (which Jackson struggles with) and set screens."

Former Boston Celtics heart and soul Marcus Smart deserves better than Grizzlies

Smart never missed the postseason with the Celtics but now faces the possibility of playing for a rebuilding team in Memphis for years to come. While Ja Morant's injury struggles have been the primary culprit, the team's struggles seem to go far beyond that.

A source close to the Grizzlies told me before the season that there was a major culture shift following the 2022 offseason that was led by attitude changes from Morant and Dillon Brooks. The veterans of the team didn't take it well.

For all we know, there might still be issues in the locker room even with Brooks now with the Houston Rockets. The on-court results certainly lend credence to that theory.

If that's the case, Smart certainly deserves better than Memphis in its current form.