Maybe the Celtics aren’t so keen on trading Marcus Smart after all.
On Monday morning, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported Brad Stevens is “frustrated” with Smart’s play and could deal the feisty guard. That anecdote lined up with criticisms we heard about Smart all season, including when Kendrick Perkins said Smart’s time in Boston has “run its course.”
But now, a respected pair of beat writers are shooting down the speculation. The Globe’s Adam Himmselbach tweets Smart “isn’t going anywhere,” while Steve Bulpett of the Herald says the Celtics are “comfortable with Smart as (a) starter.”
That’s about as far away as shopping somebody as you can get.
Smart, 27, battled injuries last season, missing multiple weeks with a calf strain. As a result, his defense took a big hit, and his offensive game wasn’t good enough to make up the difference. Smart averaged 13.1 points per game and shot 39.8 percent from the field — including 33 percent from three-point range.
Almost every game, Smart took some maddening shots late.
Smart appears to be one of the Celtics’ more vocal leaders. He was one of the antagonists in the infamous Bubble locker room shouting match, along with Jaylen Brown.
With one year left on Smart’s contract, the Celtics may decide his expiring deal is more valuable than the assets they could receive for him. He and Payton Pritchard are currently the only point guards on Boston’s roster.