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Yesterday's NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the Celtics are standing pat for the moment. Non-moves can often tell us more than trades that actually happened. Here is what I see.

If Marcus Smart stops punching walls, framed pictures and other inanimate objects, he has a lot of value to the Celtics. There is something somewhat self-destructive about taking out anger in a way that can put you out of action and even end a career. But it was obvious that Celtics Exec, Danny Ainge, has not given up on Marcus. We didn't see him get traded elsewhere, and the primary reason is that the Celtics can use his power-defense and ferocity for the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Smart's future is in his hands. With the critical addition of Greg Monroe, I expect Marcus' minutes to decrease somewhat, but only slightly. He needs to control the anger and his shot selection while continuing to be a menace to any opponent unlucky enough to be hounded by him. It is all up to Marcus. He would be difficult to replace. The Celtics need him, and I am sure he is desperate to get back on the floor.


Rookie Guerschon Yabusele was supposedly included in a trade proposal to acquire the Grizzlies Tyreke Evans. Yabu does great during his G-League time but can't seem to put it together at the NBA level. One of the problems is that he can't get enough minutes with the Celtics. Daniel Theis and Marcus Morris are getting significant minutes on the second unit, and the recent addition of Greg Monroe won't help Yabu's cause. He doesn't need more G-League time since he has already proven that he thrives there. We should hope for some blowout games favoring Boston where Yabu can get some much-needed floor time at the NBA level.


Danny Ainge will look very closely at the buyout market as lottery-seeking teams start tanking. Boston still needs a veteran shooter, and Danny has until March 1st to wait for the right one to become available. Greg Monroe's signing will add second-unit scoring, and his presence in the low post may create more offensive opportunities for his present teammates. The names of Joe Johnson and Marco Belinelli are in the forefront, and a low-radar guy may be Shabazz Muhammed. He has under-performed in the NBA, but the right opportunity may change that. Ainge may elect to stick with the present team, which brings me to the final piece.

Brad Stevens and Danny have repeatedly stated that they do not expect Gordon Hayward back this season. That is an appropriate statement. I still see Gordon on a fast track in his recovery. That could change in an instant with a setback in his rehab, but right now he is progressing much faster than I would have anticipated. As Ainge has stated, this month is critical in Hayward's rehab, and it certainly is. In the next few weeks, seeing him taking shots with his feet leaving the floor slightly will be a positive sign that he may be back for the playoffs. The hope of a comeback this season by Gordon played at least a small part in the deadline non-moves.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Tom Lane 2/09/2018 07:15:00 AM Edit
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