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It started with this Bill Simmons statement on Zach Lowe's podcast:

”So Golden State calls Boston, and they say we really want Marcus Smart...we will offer the No. 2. Overall Pick for Marcus Smart and Pick No. 14. What does Boston do?”


Simmons quickly qualified his trade proposal by saying he personally wouldn't accept the offer if he was the Celtics. Simmons also didn't mention who the Celtics might target at #2.

Even NBC Sports Bay Area's Brian Witt though the trade made no sense for Boston.
Smart and the No. 14 overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft for the second pick? If the Warriors called the Celtics with that proposal, they'd hear a few seconds of laughter and, then, the dial tone. Why on Earth would the Celtics accept such a trade? Even if they are head over heels for a certain 2020 draft prospect, it's extremely hard to believe that they would view that as a good value proposition. Even if you remove the 14th pick from the equation, it still seems heavily weighted in the Warriors' favor.




On the other hand Sean Deveney thinks the Celtics Might Have to Consider Proposed Marcus Smart-to-Warriors Trade. His reasoning is that the Celtics would save money swapping Smart for a rookie. Reality is they'd save some money, but Smart is on a very team friendly deal at $13 million per and a #2 overall pick gets a paycheck as well, so this makes no sense. It's not like Marcus is making $40 million a year.

Now if one wanted to argue that Smart will be due for a big pay raise in a couple years and you'd rather have the rookie contract at that point, that actually makes some sense. But as many people have said already there aren't any sure bets in this draft and that rookie contract has no appeal it ends up being an Anthony Bennett or Josh Jackson.

Celtics broadcaster Cedric Maxwell was quite enthusiastic about this trade idea on his podcast with Josue Pavon:

(Note: Language and some topics are very NSFW)

Maxwell adds that the player the Celtics would be getting at #2 would be Memphis' James Wiseman and that he'd be the perfect big man to form a young Big 3 with Jalen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Worth noting is there are no guarantees Wiseman won't be taken at #1 overall and it's not known if he is even a top 2 prospect in this draft.

Do the Celtics need another big man? Absolutely (unless you think they already have the solution with Robert Williams, as quite a few people do). But when you start drafting for need instead of best player available, that's when you make colossal mistakes. The aforementioned Sean Deveney famously defended the Celtics' Kelly Olynyk pick over Giannis because the Celtics were an older team and needed someone that could contribute immediately. In Deveney's defense, while Giannis was having quite an impactful rookie year at that point, it wasn't apparent that he would become a MVP superstar. Still should be enough of a reminder for Ainge not to draft for need. Sign a free agent for need. Make a trade for need. Draft the best player available. Always.



If Danny Ainge likes a player enough at #2 he will 100% trade Marcus Smart for him. Ainge has traded Antoine Walker (twice), Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas. But so far there are no indications that he's targeting the top of this draft. And Marcus Smart has been a part of all three Celtics teams that have made the Eastern Conference Finals under Brad Stevens' leadership. The only other player is Jaylen Brown who was a rookie during that 2016-17 season. Losing Smart hurts your chances of advancing. So it would be a mighty dice roll to trade him.

Maybe Ainge believes that this team's ceiling isn't a championship, so he needs to make a drastic, unpopular move. But as much as Ainge is a risk taker, I don't see him pursuing this trade. And also while the Warriors TV affiliate might think this trade is a no-brainer for Golden State its not even clear if their front office feels the same. Initially they had their sights set on a much bigger fish than Marcus with their draft assets. Who knows what they are thinking.

Marcus Smart is currently the most popular player on the team with fans. Fans can rest easy that the odds of him being moved at this time are minimal. I've heard from some fans that have said they wouldn't even trade Smart for Doncic or Giannis, so this following question isn't really for them (unless you want to swap something in instead of Smart). If the Celtics were going to trade up to #2, which player should they pick there?



JR 10/29/2020 01:04:00 PM Edit
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