Marcus Smart claims Celtics did not keep their word with trade
The Boston Celtics caught most off-guard by trading Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a move to acquire Kristaps Porzingis. Not only was Smart the same way, but the move apparently went against what the Celtics told him not long before making the deal.
Smart told spoke to the media Sunday at Dana Barros Basketball Club and said he had been told by the Celtics one week before the trade that he was not a subject of trade talks. The guard said he wished that the team had simply told him that there was a chance of him being moved.
“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, via Bobby Manning of CLNS Media. “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.”
Obviously, things change quickly in the NBA. The Celtics may have thought they were telling the truth if they did tell Smart he was safe, and their initial deal for Porzingis did not include him. However, Boston clearly wanted Porzingis, and opted to pull the trigger when Smart became required as part of the trade. As Smart notes, that certainly suggests that the Celtics did not view him as totally untouchable.
Previous reports suggested that Smart was blindsided by his trade to Memphis. If the former Defensive Player of the Year had the Celtics’ word that he was not available, that reaction is entirely understandable.