Traded former Boston Celtics star Marcus Smart, the primary piece used to bring back Kristaps Porzingis in the first of the C's offseason home run swings on the trade market, was accused by Celtics Wire's Justin Quinn of having a minimal impact on his new team, the Memphis Grizzlies, in 2023-24.
"(Memphis) brought in Marcus Smart from Boston to improve their defense and leadership," Quinn prefaced before saying, "But Smart has not lived up to expectations, and the Griz have struggled, even without Ja Morant. Smart’s shooting has been inconsistent, and his offensive impact has been minimal. The team’s offensive rating has dropped, and they are currently last in the league in offensive efficiency."
Thus far, Smart ranks fourth on Memphis in shot attempts, but ranks sixth in conversion rate. Expecting Smart to hunt for more shots, or amass more than five assists per game, was unrealistic for any Grizzlies fan. Memphis' issues go far beyond Smart's absence; likely having more to do with Steven Adams' and, believe it or not, Dillon Brooks'.
Marcus Smart will always have love for the Boston Celtics
When the Celtics played the Grizzlies on November 19, Smart -- who is out with an ankle injury and didn't get to suit up against his former team -- told NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin that he'll always have a place in his heart for Boston.
"For me, just the player I was," Smart said when asked about his time as a Celtic. "The whole life I embodied of being a Celtic in the franchise, in the organization and everybody that came before me. Laid it out on the line day in, day out like every game was my last. Just being part of that upper echelon of guys that wore that uniform that left it all out there and gave everything to it. I’m very thankful for my time. It’s all love. It’s still love. I grew up there. There’s always going to be a place in my heart for Boston."
Smart returning to the Celtics at some point seems like a lock given the way he waxes poetic about his Boston tenure.