One of the most surprising trades of the past month saw the Boston Celtics trade Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Smart, for all of his personality quirks, was arguably the mentally toughest player on the roster. Not only is he a former Defensive Player of the Year, but he brought also brought a certain tenacity to the table that no other Celtic did.
Especially not stars Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown.
This week, with some distance between him and Boston’s decision to move him, Smart got brutally honest about how the organization lied to him ahead of the trade.
“It was definitely shocking to find out that way, especially because the week before, I was already told we were good, there were no trade talks with me and we were good,” Smart said.
“I understand the business side of it, I’ve always been like that. I’m the first one to tell anyone, you can’t mix personal with business, it just doesn’t mix. I understand it’s a business. For me, it’s just the courtesy.
“They probably already knew they were thinking about trading me, they had this trade in their back pocket just in case something else didn’t happen. And for me, it’s just the simple fact, hey, we’re thinking about trading you, most likely we’ll trade you, just letting you know, thank you.”
Shorty after the deal went down, Tatum offered his blunt reaction to Smart getting traded. It was quite telling.
Boston coming up short of the NBA Finals this year obviously led the front office into feeling like big changes needed to be made.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/jKTRZ6wv9i
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 2, 2023
Hence Smart being kicked to the curb in favor of Kristaps Porzingis.
That said – Smart’s brand of toughness will not be easily replaced. He will be a huge addition for Memphis and a big loss for Boston.
Will the Celtics ultimately come to rue the day they let Smart leave? One way or another, an answer will emerge next season.