Sunday, June 26, 2022

Celtics had been in “serious” trade talks surrounding Star: Report

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Marcus Smart is the longest-serving player for the Boston Celtics. After being drafted by the team sixth overall in 2014, Smart has been on the roster every year the team has made the playoffs. While both the Celtics and Smart have shown loyalty to one another, there was a point when Smart was almost traded in the offseason.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Celtics nearly struck a deal on the night of the 2019 NBA draft that would have seen Smart traded to the Houston Rockets along with the 22nd pick in the 2019 NBA draft for Clint Capela. The deal ultimately fell through because the player the Rockets wanted to take with that pick was chosen before they had the chance, Fischer said.

Around this time, Al Horford had terminated the final year of his contract with the Celtics, leading many to speculate that he was leaving. The Capela trade would have given the Celtics a starting center to recoup the loss of Horford, who went to the Philadelphia 76ers that summer.

Due to Smart’s reputation as one of the better defenders in the league, teams only expressed an interest in bringing him to the Celtics ahead of this year’s trade deadline. Though the Celtics were considered buyers during the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline, they listened to what prospects had to offer.

One such prospect, according to SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson, was the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although the Timberwolves wanted Smart to help them in their playoffs, Brad Stevens’ demands on Malik Beasley and either Jaden McDaniels or a first-round pick were apparently too high a price to pay Smart at the Minnesota end.

Smart is still with the team, of course, and helped lead the Celtics to the 2022 NBA Finals. Those two trade discussions show the Celtics aren’t interested in trading smart unless it’s someone who fits into a position of need or an upgrade.

Capela, who now plays with the Atlanta Hawks, could be traded again this summer. In Fischer’s account of the trade that would have sent Smart to Houston for Capela, he later added that Atlanta could bring Capela along with two other Hawks and a draft pick to the Utah Jazz in exchange for three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert .

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